How My Track Technology Uses 3D Printing for Their Remote All-Terrain Vehicle

My Track Technology (MTT) is an eco-friendly, electric remote-controlled track vehicle built to operate in extreme terrains. Its low center of gravity, resistance to the elements and autonomy make it a crucial new tool for a wide range of civilian and military applications including emergency and disaster rescues and agricultural functions.

Partnered with Shapeways, the makers of MTT were able to use 3D printing to cut substantial time and costs in their production process by rapidly prototyping designs and printing strong, end-use ready parts that can resist the elements.

We interviewed Michael Martel from MTT to find out how MTT has utilized Shapeways’ 3D printing technology to ramp up production with speed and efficiency.

What is your name and your role at My Track Technology?

My name is Michael
Martel and I’m in charge of the MTT product development.

How did My Track Technology start ?

10 years ago my
father and I were discussing a product that can enhance human power but as
small as possible to be able to go where a person can walk. The main goal was
to be able to get someone that is injured out of deep forest and at the same
time bring reduced mobility
persons to extreme places.

From a sketch in 2010 (left) to a fully functional machine in 2020 (right).

What kinds of customers can MTT benefit?

Our customers are very broad. First, there is the military for rescue and material carrying. Mining for carrying material underground without any fumes and CO2 that has to be ventilated out of the mine. Wildfire suppression help, carrying water pumps and equipment. Also fat bike trails grooming, for agriculture use on wet fields or carrying a freezer in the field for fruits and vegetable harvesting. Replacing a generator on construction sites with MTT-154 onboard 2000W inverter, and much much more. 

My Track Technology’s machine used in rescue and rapid intervention. Photo source: My Track Technology

How did you find Shapeways?

Four years
ago one of my electronic employees bought a cheap FDM printer that he assembled himself. At that time I was very skeptical of 3D printing,
I was thinking it was only for toys and figurines. Nevertheless I let him try
some joystick parts. I was at the time building it with a laser cut aluminum
sheet, bent and welded to make an enclosed case. His part with FDM (PLA) was so successful that we
used it for our vehicle for about a year, very amazing. The problem with this
part was the surface finish, time to print and resistance to wet environments.
I was so impressed by this test that I decided
to learn more on 3D printing methods, suppliers and more. This is when I came
to Shapeways’ website and was very impressed
by the technical information and production