Mar.9, 2012

What is currently driving American competitiveness? General Electric Co. wanted to commit to strengthen America's global competitiveness by building a more highly skilled workforce, as well as its own competitiveness in the industry.

Part of the new programs is GE Garages, the manufacturing skill-building centers. It's a hands-on lab loaded with laser cutters, 3D printers, injection molders, metal inert gas welders, computer numeric control mills and other high-tech tools. The Garages are open to technologists, entrepreneurs, and ordinary people for free. Anyone is welcome to drop in and invent, design and build their ideas.

GE invests on hands-on labs for ordinary peopleGE invests on hands-on labs for ordinary people

GE Garages were created by the New York design studio Sub Rosa. Also GE partnered with the online learning marketplace Skillshare, and workshop and fabrication studio TechShop, Quirky, Make, and Inventables. MakerBot Industries' Keith Ozar will provide advice and guidance while the others will serve as manufacturing labs.

GE Garages was launched at SXSW Interactive(an emerging technology gathering in Austin, Texas) on Mar.8 and stay in Austin until March 18. They are located on the corner or 4th and Guadalupe Streets and open daily from noon until 6pm.

GE invests on hands-on labs for ordinary peopleGE invests on hands-on labs for ordinary people

"Want to make 2012 the year that you learn how to 3-D print or wield a blow torch? Then roll-up your sleeves and come by the GE Garage to meet our experts, who will teach you how to make manufacturing magic. All fellow SXSW makers, tinkerers, and inventors invited – no experience required!" You will learn how to make an iPhone case with an injection molder, or weld together bike racks for the city of Austin and etch your name into a business-sized toolkit. And of course, you will see Makerbot Replicator live on Saturday the Makerbot Day.

After SXSW Interactive, GE Garages will travel to Houston and San Francisco and later this year they will build long-term locations in Houston and Cincinnati.

"GE Garages will offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity for visitors to learn about the invention prototyping and manufacturing processes, receive support in product building, collaborate in hands-on maker workshops, participate in trainings on high-tech prototyping equipment and learn from guest speakers," said a GE press release. "With partners, GE is bringing its manufacturing expertise and industrial know-how to deliver manufacturing education and innovation that support each community and its employment base."

Via GE Reports


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