FATHOM & U.S Marines use additive manufacturing to produce a modular logistics vehicle

As part of a collaborative project for the U.S. Marine Corps, FATHOM collaborated with Launch Forth, Deloitte and Siemens to create a modular logistics vehicle.

From a challenge to a crowd-sourced vehicle concept

This project began as a challenge to prove the value of crowd-sourcing ideas rather than standard product development practices. The aim was to have a design that portrays the innovative spirit of the Marines, and experts should obviously be able to achieve a functional prototype of their design.

Images via FATHOM

It usually takes several years to carry out such type of entire development process. However, only 10 weeks were required to fabricate this prototype.

The team used Siemens’ Product Lifecycle Management software to produce a cloud-based digital thread where FATHOM’s designers could improve the 3D CAD files before production.

Both additive manufacturing and subtractive processes were exploited to create the ideal hybrid approach that reduced product development and production timelines.

Fathom explained on its website that the vehicle prototype required over 1800 components and involved more than 2000 project hours for the development, manufacturing and logistics. It was manufactured while considering Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and Design for Additive Manufacturing (DFAM) guidance. Furthermore, 88 parts were additively manufactured using Multi Jet Fusion, Selective Laser Sintering, Fused Deposition Modeling whereas others required the use of CNC Machining, Plasma Cutting, Welding, Foam Cutting, among traditional processes.

FATHOM’s digital manufacturing ecosystem of expertise and advanced technologies enables its customers to realize new or improved products in ways not previously possible.

The use of 3D printing in the defense sector

Additive manufacturing in the defense sector is still at its beginnings. Even though projects remain extremely confidential, the few of those released by companies demonstrate applications such as camps (for the construction industry), drones, or even antennas and sensors using 3D printed electronics.

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