MakerBot and GE FirstBuild want to transform the fridge

A new Thingverse challenge seeks to make the kitchen appliance customizable to each individual household.


The long disconnected worlds of refrigerators and 3D printing are coming together, thanks to a new Thingverse challenge from MakerBot and GE FirstBuild.

No, the Icebox Challenge is not trying to turn the household fridge into a 3D-printer vessel. Instead, it’s hoping to spur innovation on the refrigerator’s shelves, making the appliance customized to each individual household.

For example, design submissions could range from purely 3D printed pieces, such as a 3D printed pizza box holder, to battery operated electromechanical devices, such as motorized 3D printed wine chiller.

"Having the ability to 3D print custom accessories for your refrigerator is a really cool thing," said Jenny Lawton, acting CEO of MakerBot. "We have a very talented and creative Thingiverse community, and a challenge like this is just the sort of activity that can really showcase how 3D printing and real-time prototyping on a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer can transform the traditional design process."

Tinkerers and makers have until November 23 to submit their designs. Of course, designs must be able to be printed on a MakerBot 3D printer. The winners will receive goodies of varying degrees. First place gets a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer or a MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer, as well as the chance to have their creation housed in MakerBot retail stores.