Prisma | Photo by FirstBuild
Prisma | Photo by FirstBuild

FirstBuild — the microfactory and lean design studio created by the University of Louisville, Local Motors and GE Appliances — is tearing things up on a national scale. Not only were they recently featured in a series in The Atlantic about the future of manufacturing, but two weeks ago, the team took their Prisma Cold Brew Coffee Maker to Coffee Fest in Dallas and came home with second place and People’s Choice prizes.

“Coffee Fest is viewed by most as the best trade show both nationally and internationally,” Justin Brown, the lead on the project, said on FirstBuild’s website. “It is specifically for those involved with retailing coffee, tea and related products. It continues to evolve and stay at the forefront of emerging trends.”

Cold brewing coffee has been surging in popularity of late. The process produces a more mellow coffee without a lot of bitterness and acidity. Traditional methods of cold brewing can take up to 10 hours to produce a batch.

The revolutionary designers at FirstBuild have knocked that time down to 10 minutes, making the device very attractive to cold brew enthusiasts on a consumer level.

FirstBuild came in second for Best New Product (non-consumable) and also won a People’s Choice award at the event. They competed against at least 20 new products for the prize. Ghirardelli’s Sauce Dispensing System won first prize in that category.

The design for Prisma was crowdsourced from three separate designs: the carafe from one, the materials from a second, and the shape from a third.

Of course, because FirstBuild is FirstBuild, they also decided to design and build out their trade booth themselves. Turned out to be quite the piece of craftsmanship.

prisma booth
They don’t have any fun at FirstBuild. | Photo by FirstBuild

Within the next month, FirstBuild will launch an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund manufacturing of the Prisma.

This latest achievement suggests it’s been business as usual at FirstBuild since Chinese appliance maker Haier acquired GE Appliances last month. And it appears they’re still having fun, too.

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