Project Feature: The Opentrons OT-2 Pipetting Robot Cartridge

Project Feature: The Opentrons OT-2 Pipetting Robot Cartridge

How Alchemy Industrial reduced cycle time with one single fixture.

We’re excited to share an awesome project we had the privilege of working on early last year. 

Fannin Innovation Studio, a Houston-based organization that in-licenses promising, early-stage therapeutic and medical device technologies, came to Alchemy Industrial while working on early clinical trials for a project with Brevitest, a diagnostics-as-a-service platform. 

Using Alchemy Manufacturing Studio’s detailed 3-step product development process, we worked with Fannin to deliver exactly what they were looking for. 


The Project Brief: The Opentrons OT-2 Pipetting Robot Cartridge

Fannin and Brevitest needed a solution to decrease cartridge changeover time on the Opentrons OT-2 Pipetting Robot, a personal lab robot that automatically transfers liquid into test tubes quickly and accurately. The Opentrons OT-2 drastically reduces the hours scientists typically spend on repetitive manual pipetting and lab work. 

The robot was originally designed for filling ninety-six well microtest plates. The customer had designed two-cartridge fixtures for their own product to be mounted in the machine. Nine could be installed at once. To reduce cycle time and improve accuracy of placement, the client asked Alchemy Industrial to create a single fixture that would allow all cartridges to be loaded at once.


Our Single-Fixture Solution

Following a rigorous discovery process, we decided to create a single feature that would load all 18 cartridges into the robot simultaneously. We developed a couple design iterations in SOLIDWORKS and submitted them to the client digitally for review. 

Once our design was approved, we dove into the second phase of our product development process: design for manufacturability. After analyzing and documenting all critical requirements for the project, we built the first article.  It was machined on a vertical machining center using a fixture built specifically for this project.  Afterwards, the commercial-off-the-shelf components such as dowel pins, fasteners and handles installed on the assembly bench.  A test fit of the first article in the Opentrons OT2 machines was performed at the customer’s facility and feedback from the users integrated into the design

In the final phase of the process, Alchemy Industrial manufactured and delivered six additional fixture plates along with all of the finalized engineering files. 

Our single-fixture solution decreased cycle time by 30% as well as increased the number of test cartridges that could be loaded simultaneously from 18 to 21, allowing for fewer cycles for large batches.


We’re extremely proud of this project and always look forward to new and exciting challenges. For more information on our product development services, contact us today!