Reinventing traditional robotics development
SCALABLE LEAN MANUFACTURING
WITH 3D PRINTING
When we founded OhmniLabs, one of our main goals was to reinvent the traditional robotics development process. We wanted to build a hardware company that was a lot more like a software company in terms of flexibility and iteration speed. Our thesis was that no company in the world knows exactly what the perfect robot should be - so being able to move fast and iterate is what will win in the long run.
Ohmni robots are proudly built in Silicon Valley, California. We run clusters of our own custom-designed and built 3D printers and automation/management software (OhmniLabs SCALE system) that lets us crank out hundreds of kilograms of plastic parts a month. We get engineering tolerances, incredible wall finish, and the ability for our customers to customize Ohmni's color or shape in any quantity.
We also assemble in house with our assembly bay less that 20 feet away from where the parts are printed. Every engineer (software, electrical, mechanical) is also cross trained on production engineering. This tight vertical integration ensures that we solve problems at the most efficient level.
Most people said that 3D printing can never be used for production, but we've been heavy users of additive manufacturing technology for the last 5 years and we are absolutely sure about the engineering and economics.
We've focused on the key question of scale. Our internal manufacturing costs for quantity one of a whole new human-scale robot design at OhmniLabs is < $50, whereas for traditional molding costs could be as much as $100k-200k.
Our turnaround time internally for additive manufacturing is < 24h (often < 12h!) whereas involving an external vendor for injection molding often takes 2-6 weeks.
We've also developed an internal training program and methodology around engineering design for 3D printed parts. We are able to design high-stress parts like snap fits, our drivetrain and pulleys, and other structural components.
We also take advantage of 3D printing in new ways such as adjusting the microstructure of parts to tradeoff between density/weight and strength.
Our manufacturing process is also designed around full QA of tolerances and parts. Our software dynamically tracks the yield of every printer and defects and enables us to perform preemptive maintenance which keeps our yield at production levels.
All this means Ohmni and our other robots can keep improving quickly...