We Begin Our Prototyping with a Retired GZL Shell
“It’s time to start building!”, Lance said as we were finalizing the last few SolidWorks files. This jump from concept to proto-type always gets our engineers nervous. Hoping that everything was thought through, calculated out, and will line up is the dream but never the reality.
By noon the next day a stack of plywood showed up, and our crew began cutting shapes on our C&C machine. Why plywood? Because it is cheap and easy to take a computer design and see how it feels when it is a tangible structure. Don’t worry the final design won’t use any materials that involve fasteners who tend to come apart under the stress of off-road travel. Once all the shapes were cut, where were we going to put them?
In the back corner of our shop sat a lonely shell, which was used for prototyping purposes when the GZL was released. This shell was fully outfitted as a GZL, taken to tradeshows, on camping trips, and even given to pro mountain biker, Ryan Leech, to live out of for a few months. In short, this shell has seen a lot and it had the bumps and bruises to prove it. However, structurally it is fine and it was a perfect platform for the MOD proto-type.
After laying out the interior using plywood, changes were made and soon shipments of extruded aluminum were showing up at our door. It’s incredible how quickly our team took that old shell and turned it into MOD. Even the exterior was refinished and painted to match our shop Toyota Tundra. A few lucky visitors were given nickel tours and provided great feedback for development.
Each kit that allows you to outfit the MOD interior does not always have to be mounted in the same spot. We have recommendations, but if you want to move the kitchen unit from the back to the front you can. If you want the toilet to be close to the door, you can put it there. If you want an interior full of nothing but seats, you can do that too. True to its name, My Own Design, the MOD was inspiring everyone that got in it.
The video below shows a quick chat with Lance and two of our techs in the MOD. You’ll notice that the interior uses a durable bed liner, and how some of the mounting points for the kits are being designed in. It’s definitely not our cleanest or prettiest build, but just remember it’s a prototype ????