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FAQ // Engineering & Design

The Engineering & Design Team at FATHOM is a unique group of experts with industry-leading additive manufacturing experience. In this blog post, Derek Roedel answers the most frequently asked questions about his team of highly trained engineers and designers. They’re regularly contracted to support a company’s in-house design team throughout the product development process—from prototyping to production, and helping teams use additive technologies in conjunction with traditional manufacturing methods to drive greater innovations.


This specialized FATHOM team has five areas of focus to best support you—additive manufacturing, mechanical concept development, design for manufacturing guidance, industrial design, and advanced prototyping. After reading this blog post, please check out the Engineering & Design Team service page for more information.

What does the Engineering & Design Team at FATHOM do?

FATHOM’s Engineering & Design Team is solely focused on your need for total design freedom and faster speeds in product development and manufacturing processes. Our dedicated group of engineers and designers are contracted by companies of all sizes who want to increase high-value collaboration throughout different stages in product development and expand its resources. Whether it is a single unit application or a design to be mass-produced, we are entirely dedicated to accelerating timelines and enabling greater innovation without compromising design intent.

To best illustrate a typical project for us, check out this interview with the Mercedes-Benz Xtron Lab. In this featured customer video, hear about how FATHOM’s engineering and design team augmented Mercedes-Benz Xtron Lab’s product development and production processes. Brian Cooley from CNET also covered the story if you’d like to watch that, too!


The Mercedes-Benz Xtron Lab team needed to fabricate 240+ electromechanical tiles for an IoT-connected cargo delivery management system in just four weeks. FATHOM helped these designers and engineers go from hand sketches to a fully electro-mechanical production assembly by way of combining resources and expertise in design, engineering, additive manufacturing, and traditional manufacturing methods.

We’re able to move quickly through an involved project like the one for Mercedes because our team works on-site at our Oakland-based headquarters with direct access to industrial equipment—from enterprise-level 3D printers to additive manufacturing systems to traditional equipment (CNC machining, urethane casting, and injection molding). We also work side-by-side with technology and material experts, all of which further enables us to compress project timelines.


What kind of projects does the Engineering & Design Team support?

You can plug our team into any step of your process, where it needs the most support— whether that is for a single unit installation or a mass-produced product. We are experienced in all stages of product development that involve realizing physical parts.

  • Define // Every project has unique development and manufacturing challenges. You can come to us with a concept and we’ll collaborate with you to further define your technical requirements. We will develop a logical prototype path with you, while keeping an eye on the appropriate end-manufacturing processes.
  • Design & Rapid Prototype // We can leverage our in-house fabrication resources and network of approved vendors for you to develop 3D CAD concepts, and quickly get concept prototypes in-hand for early-stage validation. Gain direct access to industry-leading additive technologies, CNC machining, urethane casting, injection molding, and expert model makers to help keep your project on schedule at record speeds.
  • Design Refinement & Prototype Fabrication //We can help transition concepts into detailed 3D CAD that result in refined prototypes with integrated aesthetics and function.
  • Advanced Manufacturing // Look to us as guides who will take your team on a clear, risk-averse, low-volume production run path that utilizes cutting-edge manufacturing methods to ensure that design/engineering validation stages are efficiently and quickly executed.

Is FATHOM’s Engineering & Design Team a design firm?

No, we are NOT a design firm. Actually, many of our customers are design firms. We are here to help with the fabrication of a concept after a design firm or in-house design team has developed a concept. These types of groups leverage our additive expertise, creative problem-solving, and hybrid manufacturing know-how to realize their ideas faster.


Have questions? Talk with an account manager about your application challenges to best determine if our engineering and design services are a right fit for you. Fill out the form on the top of the page, send us an email, or submit files for review.