Jobs of the Future
Automotive Customization and Restoration
|Name: Bastiaan Wolters
Position: Industrial Design Engineer
|Company: The Landrovers
Country: The Netherlands
The Landrovers is an innovative and fast-growing company that is specialized in the restoration and customization of the iconic Land Rover Defender. We are an ambitious team with the urge to get the most out of every build and finish every project with a smile on the customer’s face. Every car is made to fulfill the wishes and needs of the customer, which results in a different build every time! Our unique Defenders travel around the whole world.
What is your current job?
As an Industrial Design Engineer, I am responsible for every project regarding the development of interior and exterior parts. The Landrovers are currently developing a fully electric Defender. My part in this is to add our own touch to the Defender by designing our own interior and exterior parts. This includes interior trim parts for example; a center console, instrument cluster, etc. For the exterior, this includes the design of air vents, flares, a grill.
3D Printing Automotive Parts, Tools, and Education
How does your job involve 3D printing?
We aim to 3D print around the clock every day. It is very helpful for us to instantly print mock-ups so we can optimize our designs. Also, we are printing end-use parts. By combining 3D print technology with other production processes, we are able to produce rigid and smooth-looking parts. This is very helpful for us and we can adapt very easily.
Where did you learn these skills?
I learned most of these skills during my Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design Engineering at The Hague University. During my Bachelor’s, we mostly learned to design mass-produced products with conventional production processes like, for instance, injection molding. During my time at The Landrovers, from learning about internships and work experience of fellow Design Engineers, I realized that there are a lot of companies that don’t use mass production processes that much. I would like to have learned more about how to use 3D printing for end-use parts.
Why do you think that students today should learn 3D design and printing skills?
Through learning 3D design and printing you can quickly manufacture a mock-up. This can be very helpful in understanding and feeling the product you are developing. For example, you can check to see if the part you have designed fits, or if the part is not out of proportion, or to make your product presentation more impressive with a real printed and painted product.
Do you think jobs like yours will become more common in the future?
This depends totally on supply and demand. As long we remain a society where nearly everything is disposable and companies aren’t designing their products to last multiple years, the demand for product engineers will continue to rise. It also depends on the world economy. If more people earn more money, they will spend more on products. So, demand will rise.
What would be your advice to educators and schools today?
- Teach more about local production, give back to your own community.
- Teach more about sustainable production processes and materials
- How to design a modular product, so the maintenance of your product is easier.
- Build to last ages! Nowadays everyone is buying their stuff online from rubbish sites. It’s cheap, but in the end, the quality is not there, and you will throw it away within months.
- A timeless design. The art of every designer is to design a product that won’t become boring and stays beautiful for years to come.
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