UK-based automotive manufacturing company Dunlop Systems and Components used Markforged 3D printers to produce custom tooling for the facility, saving tens of thousands of dollars.
Internal and customer tools would often be outsourced to third-party vendors, and the slightest change would result in significant delays. “You spend all that money and you wait two or three weeks for it to come in, and the customer then phones you up to tell you what they want changed,” says Mark Statham, Production and Engineering Manager at Dunlop Systems and Components. This would, in turn, cause Statham’s team to become a bottleneck.
After witnessing the abilities of the Markforged desktop printer, Statham was inspired. “As soon as I saw what the printers could do I thought, why can’t we do our own tooling?” says Statham.
Since purchasing the printer, the division has seen an increase in tools available, lead times drastically cut, and a significant decrease in costs. Onyx and continuous carbon fiber have been a perfect fit for the company, providing strong, lightweight parts that can be printed on the team’s Markforged desktop printer. Statham plans to replace all of his tooling with 3D printed Onyx parts, and has said the company has seen more tooling in the last six months than in the last five years.
When the company was contracted to help with the build of an electric vehicle for a large automotive company, Statham’s team needed to fabricate custom tools for it. The team saved thousands on the tooling alone, simply by using their Markforged printer instead of outsourcing it. “There are parts we would not have even thought about doing and there are parts that we would not have been able to afford to do,” said Statham. “We never say ‘no we can’t do it’, it’s like ‘yes we can. We’ll print it.'”