Customer case study – 3D Printing Helps Dorman Keep Pace with Automotive OEMs
Dorman Products sell automotive parts and components for both heavy and light-duty vehicles. They have been the automotive aftermarket’s pioneering problem solvers for over a century. Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix these vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and installers first.
Dorman Products catalogue includes more than 118,000 products and grows every year. Dorman’s product design and manufacturing teams need to be particularly agile, says Additive Manufacturing Lead Chris Allebach. “The OEMs have teams of people designing a single part, sometimes starting two years prior to a new car coming out. We need to find ways to ensure our replacements are reliable while also being fast to market.”
One of Dorman’s parts OE FIX improves an OEM part. The team redesigned, analyze and reverse-engineered the part to see how they can improve. To redesign these parts to make the improvements, extensive prototyping and testing is required. If there was something wrong with one of the parts the team would have spent weeks waiting to get the prototype back. With 3D printing, they are able to make modifications and then remake the part in a matter of hours.
Dorman Products first bought a 3D printer 10 years ago and since then they have added more 3D printers to their range. They utilize the full materials library on their Formlabs printers and max out capacity.
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