Dunlop Systems and Components designs and produces electronic control systems and suspension components for the automotive and ancillary industries. The UK-based company harnesses Markforged 3D printing solutions to produce custom tooling for their facility.

One main challenge companies like Dunlop often encounters is the fact that their internal tools sometimes are produced by third-party vendors, which results in delays when there is a slight change.

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.

Using Markforged’s technology has been a true relieve for Dunlop

Making their own tooling was a simple solution and a good one to save time, and more importantly money during the production.

Moreover, using Markforged’s metal 3D printer was also an opportunity to prove the efficiency of Onyx, its flame retardant 3D printing material. Reinforced with carbon fiber, the material also features strength, superior print quality, high-quality surface finish – all while resisting fire.

Dunlop said the material has been able to deliver strong and lightweight parts. Today, one thing is certain the team at Dunlop has seen more tooling in the last six months than in the last five years. 

As part of a recent contract that consisted in the manufacture of an electric vehicle for a large automotive company, Dunlop’s team needed to produce custom tools. Using metal AM in-house, they have been able to save thousands on the tooling alone.

 “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.” 

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