How Chattanooga-based One Off Robotics is utilizing cutting-edge robot ‘makers’ to revolutionize automated production

Photography by Jennifer McNally / One Off Robotics founders Tony DiSanto, left, and Nick Johnson
Photography by Jennifer McNally / One Off Robotics founders Tony DiSanto, left, and Nick Johnson

One Off Robotics

* Entrepreneurs: Tony DiSanto and Nick Johnson

* Year founded: 2018

* Employees: 11


What service do you provide:

At One Off Robotics, we offer cutting-edge robotic fabrication systems across three product lines: robotic 3D printing, robotic machining, and custom fabrication systems. The key difference between us and a typical automation company is that our robots are actually making parts whereas others are moving parts around or loading machines that make parts.

How did you develop this idea:

At the onset of One Off Robotics, we realized that the industrial robot was an under-utilized piece of equipment. They are low-cost, extremely reliable, and capable of amazing accuracy and strength. We wanted to unlock the potential of industrial roots and begin pushing them into new and challenging areas.

Who are your customers/clients:

One Off Robotics caters to a diverse range of clients, including aerospace, dental, medical, national research facilities, universities, boat manufacturers, architecture and more. Anyone who seeks to utilize cutting-edge fabrication technology is an ideal candidate for our products.

Background leading to this:

The founders of the company, Tony DiSanto and Nick Johnson, are both engineers by trade and have diverse professional experience. They met in 2016 while Tony was doing freelance work on a robotics project at a company Nick worked for. In 2018 the timing was right for both of them to take the leap and go for building a company together. Tony's background in industrial robotics and Nick's computer engineering and custom robotics background were enough to build the first few systems.

Biggest obstacle so far:

We have bootstrapped the company from day one. In the early days, we owned and operated our own robotic milling machine that we used to make parts for local companies. In between system builds we made ceramics, carved foam sculptures, made rock climbing holds and milled plastic manhole covers to get by. This was enough to keep a very small team going and build a reputation.

Without a doubt, Covid was the biggest challenge for us. We have a long sales cycle and when the pandemic hit all of our in-progress sales were canceled. We decided to utilize the time available to us to concentrate on developing our technology, which has now become the cornerstone of our business.

What's next:

In a strategic move, One Off Robotics is standardizing its product lineup to enhance efficiency, resulting in more competitive pricing and increased production capacity. Following the successful deployment of two cutting-edge robotic 3D printers at a prominent U.S. national lab, we are excited to announce the availability of direct sales through our hardware partners and established distribution channels.

– Answered by Cole Montalvo

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