What is COCO BOT?
COCO BOT is an AI-powered smart manufacturing bot designed to help product designers take smart manufacturing decisions and facilitate on-demand manufacturing by providing data and data driven recommendations. It is an innovative software powering our cloud manufacturing platform www.chizel.io which assists design engineers with the tedious process of manufacturing custom parts and prototypes. It simplifies the process by providing instant access to manufacturing data, insights, and know-how, along with diverse comparison on cost vs time vs quantity.
Current Manufacturing Framework and Challenges:
A product lifecycle starts with an idea or design. Once you design it in 3D CAD format, often the design is not “manufacturable”. What it means is, you need to make certain changes in the design to make it feasible for manufacturing. Chizel has been into the business of manufacturing since 2015. We have manufactured thousands of parts. However; each part had its own set of challenges. We have solved those problems with the help of our manufacturing team who essentially brainstorms on all possible ways to manufacture a part. There are numerous ways to manufacture one part, but there usually is only one optimized and efficient method. To come up with the best manufacturing strategy, our team has to evaluate different manufacturing processes which further depend on numerous variables like materials, cost of manufacturing, turnaround time, required dimensional tolerance, etc. While we were doing all these, we realized that all this manufacturing knowledge is fragmented, which means involving multiple manufacturing experts and vendors and then coming up with a decision. The entire process, called traditional manufacturing, is a very time consuming, complex, and inefficient.
We observed that the knowledge of manufacturing strategies, guidelines, and best practices is highly fragmented. There is a lack of a central repository or knowledge base that governs the manufacturing.
- For instance, the part that is 20 cm x 20 cm dimensions with a thickness less than 2 mm is bound to warp in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology. These are standards that manufacturing companies learn over time, but they remain in our books and minds and never get translated to the design of a part the moment you upload it.
- This example can get more complex when we consider Machining as a process as machining strategy is 70% dependent on the person designing the program (Tool path).
The Genesis of COCO BOT:
COCO BOT is nothing but a source of data and knowledge accessible anytime, anywhere assisting a design engineer to manufacture faster. However, building this knowledge for the world of manufacturing is a long journey. We started building COCO BOT for one technology at a time, starting with 3D Printing.
COCO BOT currently powers our online manufacturing platform www.chizel.io where a user can simply upload the 3D CAD files for the product and select the desired processes and materials. COCO BOT reads the design and computes it just like a human does by simply looking at a design. It analyses the part geometry and performs the manufacturing analysis of the part across multiple manufacturing processes using smart algorithms. The algorithms are based on neural networks and deep learning that uses self-learning and configurable rules and standards.
Once COCO BOT figures out that the part is feasible for manufacturing, it recommends the design modifications in the part which are necessary for manufacturing.
It also provides manufacturing Cost vs Timelines vs Quantity almost instantly and based on your preference, it also recommends the best process suitable for the product. Depending on the cost, timeline and other factors, a designer can place the order with the click of a button.
We are building COCO BOT not just for the part design, but also for machine shops and machinists to assist them in planning and executing manufacturing faster. The COCO BOT is smart enough to provide actionable directions at the shop floor, manufacturing the parts faster than ever before and delivered to you.
COCO BOT – Build for Factories too.
Every product development starts with market research, and while we were doing the research for COCO BOT, we also noticed that there were several tools in the market that provided manufacturing recommendations, costing, and assisted designers in the manufacturing process, but when it came to the real world manufacturing, the machine shops did not follow the same manufacturing guidelines and recommendations, which made the entire tool worthless. In simple words, COCO BOT recommendations and smartness would not have any value if the manufacturing company does not follow the same rules to manufacture the parts. Which means that COCO BOT is not just the smartness to be given to the designers, it is also the smartness connected to the shop floor to follow the recommendations.
Our team is building a network of digital factories called the Chizel Manufacturing Hubs. The manufacturing hubs will be connected to COCO BOT and will use the technology at the core to manufacture the parts using standard processes and guidelines which allow us to deliver high-quality 3D Printed and CNC parts at the doorstep of the customer by using standard pricing structure, standard design guidelines, and ensuring that all the guidelines and processes are followed at the shop floor. Our first manufacturing hub is on its way to being fully operational.
Our Vision and embodiment of COCO BOT:
We conceptualized COCO-BOT as a self-learning BOT that one day will pose the manufacturing knowledge currently distributed across millions of human minds. With every part manufactured at Chizel, COCO BOT learns. Our vision is to unify the manufacturing expertise at one place to facilitate smarter decision making and reduce dependency on manufacturing operators. Thus, automating the entire manufacturing process, enhancing the turnaround time, and bringing down the cost of manufacturing.
We foresee COCO BOT to exist in different touch points. Currently, it is available in the form of a web-app empowering Chizel’s cloud platform. We aim to build it in the form of CAD API that sits in the CAD software or is available in the form of Voice assistance.
COCO BOT – Building Smart Manufacturing Anytime, Anywhere.