FATHOM Announces ISO Certification and New 3D Design Challenge with Launch Forth

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Advanced manufacturer and 3D printing expert FATHOM, which recently introduced its Crystallon open source software project for generating 3D lattice structures, has a four-part commitment to its customers, vowing to reduce time-to-market and production scrap, ensure customer satisfaction, and use a technology-neutral approach to solve application challenges.

The company is sharing some great news this week in regards to quality solutions – after taking part in a comprehensive audit of its product quality requirements, manufacturing processes, and business operations, FATHOM has earned important ISO 9001:2015 certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

“Securing ISO 9001:2015 certification means a great deal to FATHOM—our customers count on us to provide a unique combination of services that help them accelerate, iterate, and elevate their design potential. Going through this rigorous process more fully demonstrates that our team adheres to industry recognized standards while still working to push the limits of manufacturing,” said Rich Stump, Principal and Co-Founder of FATHOM.

“With so many rapidly developing technologies, materials, and processes available today, the factory of tomorrow will further transform the way we design and manufacture products—access to many advanced technologies to solve a wide range of application challenges have never been more real. This certification will help FATHOM continue to develop its services, as well as its development of standards across many processes related to additive or the hybrid use of additive with traditional methods.”

FATHOM, which is also NIST 800-53 compliant and has maintained its ITAR registration for four years, made the strategic decision to adopt a quality management system (QMS), as it works to increase its focus and commitment to the sustainable development and continuous improvement initiatives laid out by ISO.

Phil Stob, FATHOM’s Innovation Program Manager, said, “This is a great achievement for FATHOM and it marks a pivotal point on our path of continuous improvement. We have a strong foundation and a good guideline for the changes coming. Now, we have a much more common language to use when judging new technologies, materials, or processes that help reduce the time-to-market at the most efficient cost and the highest quality we can deliver.”

Stob led the charge for the company in gaining the ISO 9001:2015 certification.

“In a fast-growing industry of advanced manufacturing where additive technologies are being used to produce production parts alongside traditional processes, it is critical to create and maintain a strong quality management system. Consistent quality is expected of the manufacturing community,” said Michelle Mihevc, Principal and Co-Founder of FATHOM. “This certification is another step towards better structuring processes to overcome barriers of adoption for additive manufacturing.”

Its new ISO certification is not the only news FATHOM is sharing this week. The company is teaming up with product design platform Launch Forth to host a new design challenge.

Elizabeth Griffin-Isabelle, the Director of Marketing for FATHOM, told 3DPrint.com, “Together with Launch Forth, we will be talking about next steps for an exciting design challenge—a modular logistics vehicle (MLV) design that will eventually be made available to the Marine Corps.

“FATHOMers will be fabricating the functional prototype and it’s going to be an accelerated manufacturing project that leverages all kinds of technologies that include 3D printing.”

Tomorrow, Friday March 9th, at 10 am PST, FATHOM will join Launch Forth on its Facebook page to host a Facebook Live broadcast; feel free to RSVP for the broadcast here. The broadcast will cover the winners of the first half of the MLV Challenge, as well as share some information about the next half, Modular Logistics Vehicle: Refined, which is open to anyone who wants to participate.

As for the challenge itself, a little background – Launch Forth was inspired by a team of US Marines from the Marine Corps Twentynine Palms base in California, who used innovation and ingenuity to turn a fleet of standard, off-the-shelf utility vehicles into, according to the project page, “highly customized vehicles that can now serve a wide range of diverse tasks.”

The Marines used their creativity and technical proficiency to turn the stock vehicles into several use cases, and the MLV: Refined Challenge asks 3D designers to create a new modular vehicle system that “meets a range of logistical missions” and may one day be available to the country’s Marine Corps.

The purpose behind MLV: Refined is to design a new vehicle, inspired by winners from the first half of the challenge, that will include modular adjustments meant to improve the Marine experience and corresponding operations. Any adjustments should be able to be customized on the base when new use cases and needs arise; however, it’s important to note that none of of the use cases will be in combat, so your design should not include any weapons.

“It’s exciting that the US Marine Corps at Twentynine Palms has partnered with Launch Forth and its community to undertake a study into the employment of crowd-sourced design and the latest manufacturing techniques—the goal is to reduce the turn-around time and improve customization for an on-base Modular Logistical Vehicle,” FATHOM mechanical engineer Chris Blower told 3DPrint.com of the challenge.

“A five-week long competition on the Launch Forth website just ended and the community members submitted some phenomenal concepts—mind-blowing ideas that really fulfill the project requirements. Launch Forth judged the submissions on five key categories; the vehicle needed to be modular, hackable, understandable, high capacity, and to prioritize function over form. I’m really looking forward to this next round of the challenge and how the community will rally together on these winning designs. It’s going to be interesting to see how they iterate and level up the vehicle designs for next steps in prototyping and production.”

First prize will be $20,000, with the second and third place winners receiving $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. The winners of five designs deemed favorites by the judges will each receive $1,000. You can find more details on the MLV: Refined page.

If you tune in to tomorrow’s Facebook Live broadcast, you’ll also hear about some of the fabrication methods and materials that FATHOM might use to build a functional prototype of the MLV.

FATHOM’s Blower and Launch Forth’s Vice President of Advanced Manufacturing Megan Brewster will co-host the broadcast, so be sure to join in at 10 am PST at Launch Forth’s Facebook page.

“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,” Blower told us.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 


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