Founded by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) provides funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses to increase their innovation capacity and introduce new ideas to the marketplace (Government of Canada, 2021).
Mech Solutions Ltd. is happy to announce that this year, our company has been selected for the NRC IRAP funding! Through this venture, Mech Solutions will develop and introduce an AI-based solution (AIFocusBot) that aims to make 3D printing more simple and productive by reducing printing errors.
“We at Mech Solutions believe that the AIFocusBot will completely revolutionize the entire 3D printing process! By achieving reduced printing errors, we hope our users will save both time and money from their improved productivity of their 3D printers, reduced filament waste, and supervision time on 3D printing.”
- Henry Zhou, CEO and Founder of Mech Solutions, Ltd. and Cloud 3D Print
“We are ecstatic to receive the funding approval for our AIFocusBot project from IRAP! Our team has been working tirelessly these past few months to develop our AI-based software and we are excited to introduce it to the market!”
- Beenish Sharif, Project Manager at Mech Solutions, Ltd.
Company Background: Mech Solutions, Ltd.
Based in Vaughan, Ontario, Mech Solutions Ltd. is a 3D printing company that provides a one-time stop for consumers for all of their 3D printing needs! Our services include 3D printing retailing, 3D printing and design, 3D printing training, printer rental services and more.
More recently, the Mech Solutions team also launched its Cloud 3D Print platform, which aims to provide groundbreaking solutions for individuals and businesses that own 3D printers. Cloud 3D Print is a cloud-based software and hardware platform that allows users to manage, monitor and control their 3D printing projects remotely across the globe. Additional features of the Cloud 3D Print platform include online slicing, project management, and online storage.
By offering these services, Mech Solutions hopes to make 3D printing more accessible, simple, and affordable across all user types including entrepreneurs, creative minds, educators, and more. The company also hopes to empower consumers to develop and realize their ideas faster by offering innovative 3D printing technologies into the market.
The IRAP Funding Project: AIFocusBot
Our vision for Mech Solutions is to be the leading innovator in 3D printing technology in Canada. We hope to do this by being actively involved in researching advanced topics in 3D printing technology to make the process more cost-effective and efficient. Through the IRAP funding, Mech Solutions is looking to introduce a revolutionary AI-based solution aimed at improving the success rate of 3D printing. Using the existing Cloud 3D Print management platform as its base, the AIFocusBot will be Canada’s first intelligent 3D printing model detection, repairing, and monitoring system. The software will also provide early detection of 3D print failures through its advanced failure detection, vision and deep learning capabilities. These features will allow users to save both time and money from the improved productivity of their 3D printers, reduce filament waste and supervision time on 3D printing.
In addition to simplifying the 3D printing process, AIFocusBot aims to facilitate business and project management for small firms and large manufacturing set-ups. With future development, the AIFocusBot has the potential of also doing printability checks before printing jobs start to forecast and prevent potential printing errors from arising.
Moreover, the AIFocusBot will also provide a visual-based 3D printing platform for users where they remotely monitor, control and manage their 3D printing projects through a web browser from anywhere across the world. This breakthrough technology in conjunction with the company’s recently developed Cloud 3D Print platform will not only boost the value of the existing software but also enable Mech Solutions to become a powerhouse for 3D printing!
Anticipated Challenges and Uncertainties of AIFocusBot:
While the AIFocusBot aims to simplify the 3D printing process by reducing printing failures, there are also certain unpredictable factors that we have encountered while achieving these functionalities through AI.
One of the limitations of the AIFocusBot is the precision of AI decisions. The maximum ability of the AIFocusBot cannot go beyond the accuracy of an experienced user. This means that the accuracy of the AIFocusBot cannot achieve 100% as we cannot provide 100% accuracy for AI training. Therefore, this factor may affect the 3D printing process for some users. However, the Mech Solutions technical team is dedicated to optimizing the AI model to maximize the accuracy and precision of the 3D prints. Our team will train the AI models efficiently and adjust any hyperparameters to ensure that AIFocusBot can mimic human decisions to optimize the 3D digital object before printing. Our team will also train the AIFocusBot to accurately monitor the printing process and provide timely corrections of any printing errors.
Another limitation that we have encountered is the lack of camera resolution and proper lighting when monitoring prints. This factor may prevent the AIFocusBot from receiving sufficient information to detect printing failures. However, to prevent this from happening, the Mech Solutions team will test a dozen of common cameras on the market and provide recommendations on the proper resolution and lighting for the cameras to ensure maximum accuracy for the 3D prints. In the future, the engineering team may also develop our camera module for AI failure detection.
AIFocusBot: Further innovation and new products
The Mech Solutions team plans to further innovate on its current AIFocusBot framework in response and accommodate the emerging needs of the market to facilitate a simpler and more efficient 3D printing process. These can include but are not limited to using advanced cameras and nozzle cams to effectively identify error print from the nozzle-side viewpoint, collaborating with printer manufacturers to release the first AI-driven 3D printers with AI chips running AIFocusBot to the market and more!
The AIFocusBot: Benefits to Canada
Jobs for the local talent pool:
As a Canadian company, Mech Solutions plans to expand and inevitably hire Canadian full-time employees and contractors to develop 3D printing-related products and services across Canada and the world. In addition, AIFocusBot’s growth is also expected to provide many job opportunities for the local talent in Canada in areas including cloud solutions, machine learning, AI, data analysis, marketing, finance, and HR.
Benefits for the Canadian Industries:
Adopting 3D printing is increasingly becoming one of the leading manufacturing techniques in the industry due to its high productivity rates. Incorporating the AIFocusBot can further allow industries to increase their competitiveness regarding novel manufacturing methods on a global scale.
Benefits for the Canadian Educators:
An increasing number of educators are realizing the dynamic benefits of 3D printing educational programs. Given the current demand for non-stop global innovation, educators from schools and universities intend to establish more 3D printer rooms and integrate 3D printing courses into STEM and various research programs. With the growth of the AIFocusBot, Mech Solutions can effectively streamline the 3D printing course organization process and cultivate an interest in innovations for the next generation in Canada.
Collaboration with Research Institutions:
3D printing adoption and usage rates have skyrocketed in the research and development sector. This is because 3D printing offers a quick way to manufacture and test accurate prototypes which can result in a massive cost and time reduction for businesses and research institutions. With the integration of the AIFocusBot, Cloud 3D Print is poised to be a groundbreaking software for the National Research Council (NRC) and other research and development set-ups across Canada.
Mech Solutions Ltd. aims to be a global industry leader within the 3D printing space. Through the IRAP funding, Mech Solutions will commit to its mission of improving accessibility and productivity of 3D printing by integrating AI-based technology into their Cloud 3D Print platform. The AIFocusBot will be designed to improve the success rate of 3D printing by providing early detection of 3D print failures through its advanced failure detection, vision and deep learning capabilities. These features will allow users to save both time and money from the improved productivity of their 3D printers, reduce filament waste and supervision time on 3D printing. In addition to simplifying the 3D printing process, AIFocusBot aims to facilitate business and project management for small firms and large manufacturing set-ups!
Stay tuned for the launch of the AIFocusBot! Visit Cloud 3D Print to learn more.
Government of Canada. (2021). Support for technology innovation. Retrieved fromhttps://nrc.canada.ca/en/support-technology-innovation