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3D Design Challenge: Versatile Product Cycling Test Bench with Thomson Industries

For this design challenge, participants must use Vention’s cloud-based 3D CAD platform and its modular parts to design a versatile product cycling test bench that leverages Vention’s linear actuators and precision rails (powered by Thomson Industries).

Maxime Lavigueur Mechanical Engineer / Oct 15th, 2018

Product development requires extensive testing to guarantee reliability in the field. Often done in the run-up to a new product launch, reliability testing is one of the final hurdles a product team faces. Teams are usually racing against the clock to complete reliability testing and establish a warranty period. They need a reliable, modular cycling test benches to accelerate the process and hit the market with confidence.

For this design challenge, participants must use Vention’s cloud-based 3D CAD platform and its modular parts to design a versatile product cycling test bench that leverages Vention’s linear actuators and precision rails powered by Thomson Industries.

Design Requirements

  • Cycling test bench must include 4a independent “cycling lanes”, all of which are attached to the main test bench body.
  • Test bench body must be equivalent to or less than 1.5m x 2m x 2m. Each cycling lane must have a means of interfacing with the end product to be cycled.
  • End product weight is up to 15kg.
  • End product dimensions are:
    • Width: 135-315mm.
    • Depth: 135-315mm.
    • Height: 45mm-180mm.
  • Cycling lanes must enable the end product to have a displacement of up to 1305mm. Each cycling lane should be powered by Vention Nema 34 motors and supported by proper end stop sensors and rotary encoders.


The winning designer(s) will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Judging Criteria

  • Rigidity and reliability of the system
  • Testing speed
  • Modularity and reusability of the assembly
  • Workspace ratio


  • Lead mechanical engineer from Vention
  • Representative from Thomson Industries

Participation Steps

  1. Create a Vention account and complete your profile.
  2. Make sure you turn on “Public Profile” in your About Me section.
  3. Go to the Design Requests Library, find the October Design Challenge, and click Start Designing.

Contest Rules

  • The challenge is open to everyone, except employees and relatives of employees of Vention Inc. Multiple entries are welcome. Team entries are welcome.
  • All entries must be submitted by Wednesday, November 7th, 2018.
  • By entering the contest, you:
    • Accept the official Vention Terms & Conditions.
    • Agree to be bound by the decisions of the judges.
    • Warrant that you are eligible to participate.
    • Warrant that the submission is your original work.
    • Warrant that neither the work nor its use infringes on the intellectual property rights (whether a patent, utility model, functional design right, aesthetic design right, trademark, copyright or any other intellectual property right) of any other person.
    • Warrant that participation shall not constitute employment, assignment, or offer of employment or assignment.
    • Are not entitled to any compensation or reimbursement for any costs.
    • Agree that Vention has the right to promote all entries.
  • To be eligible, the design:
    • Must be completed on Vention 3D MachineBuilder and be at least 75% composed of Vention parts. External parts can also be imported in the assembly, as required.
    • Must have defined design properties (i.e., name, description, category, tags) and a design thumbnail.
    • Must include the tag “October 2018 Design Challenge” in the design properties.
    • Must be published to Vention’s public library.
    • Must be started from scratch and cannot be a customization of an existing design on the Vention website.


About Thomson Industries

With more than 70 years of motion control innovation and quality, Thomson is the industry’s premier producer of Linear Ball Bushing® Bearings and Profile Rail Bearings, 60 Case® Shafting, ground and rolled Ball Screws, Linear Actuators, Gearheads, Clutches, Brakes, Linear Systems, and related accessories. Thomson invented the Linear Ball Bushing Bearing in 1945 and has set the standard ever since with an unsurpassed set of mechanical motion control solutions serving global commercial and aerospace and defense markets. Thomson Industries, Inc. has facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia.

More information at

About Vention

Vention is the first digital manufacturing platform dedicated to machine design. Vention provides a fully-integrated 3D MachineBuilder™ platform and modular component library that let users design, order and assemble custom industrial equipment directly from a web browser in just a few days.

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