Mar 9, 2018 | By Tess

3D printing studio FATHOM has announced the launch of a 3D design and printing challenge: the MLV:Refined Challenge. Organized in collaboration with Launch Forth, the challenge’s goal is to expand and well, refine, concept designs of Modular Logistics Vehicles (MLVs) which were submitted in an earlier contest.

Last week, Launch Forth announced the winners of its first MLV Challenge, which invited designers, engineers, and makers to come up with a concept design for a Modular Logistics Vehicle with military applications. The winning design was a vehicle called SLOG, a six-wheeled and modular electric vehicle designed by [vasilatos_ianis].

In addition to the first-place prize, Launch Forth also recognized a number of other notable MLV concept designs which it is hoping will now inspire people to digitally design and flesh out vehicles.

“For this Challenge, we are asking you to take inspiration from the winners of the previous MLV Design Challenge and either expand upon your earlier MLV concepts or design something entirely new,” says Launch Forth. “Designs will need to incorporate new and innovative technologies, show module designs for all four use cases, and be provided in CAD.”

Ultimately, the goal of the MLVs is to optimize operations on Marine bases and improve logistics by providing modular and customizable vehicles that could be used for a range of tasks. Importantly, the vehicles should be able to accommodate further modifications, so if Marines need to design a new module on base, it can be adapted to the MLV.

In line with this, the 3D design challenge establishes a number of design principles for makers to adhere to. These include keeping the MLV design modular, breakable and hackable, understandable, functional (over form), high capacity in terms of functions and adaptability, and future-forward.

This last principle—of making sure the MLV design is future-forward—is especially notable. Essentially, it means that the logistics vehicle must incorporate and make use of innovative manufacturing methods such as 3D printing and state-of-the-art materials.

The MLV concept challenge winner: SLOG

The required use cases for the MLV designs are the following: it must have a personnel module, a construction module, a mechanical support module, and an administrative module. More details on these requirements can be found here.

FATHOM, for its part, will be hosting the challenge alongside Launch Forth, acting as the challenge’s build partner.

FATHOM’s Chris Blower commented on the collaboration, saying: “FATHOM is the build partner for the competition and I’m honored to be contributing as a technical advisor. We will be guiding Launch Forth and their community throughout the challenge, and will leverage our team’s extensive knowledge on additive, subtractive, and hybridized manufacturing methods to fabricate an epic vehicle that will be reliable, effective, and buildable.”

To mark the 3D design challenge’s launch, FATHOM and Launch Forth will be hosting a Facebook Live Broadcast that will look at the MLV Challenge’s winning designs as well as possible tips for the new MLV: Refined Challenge. The live broadcast will take place today at 10 am PST.



Posted in 3D Design



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