On July 25-26, Amanda Manufacturing joined Deshler Group and GS3 Global executives at Maker Faire Detroit. These Deshler-affiliated companies led a panel discussion on skilled trades and the future of manufacturing, while simultaneously supporting Amanda Products, the company’s young off-road aftermarket products brand.


Held at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, Maker Faire Detroit is an annual gathering celebrating the “maker movement” that brings together makers, from technology experts and innovative companies to garage tinkerers and students. As a maker developing innovative metalforming products for the off-road community, Amanda Products fit well in this family-friendly gathering of designers and visionaries.

Panel Discussion on “A Future in Skilled Trades” at Maker Faire Detroit

Members of the design and manufacturing team behind the Amanda Products SEMA Jeep prototype effort helmed a panel discussion on “A Future in Skilled Trades” inside the Henry Ford’s Douglas Auto Drive-In Theatre. Robert Gruschow, president of Deshler Group; Lisa Lunsford, CEO of GS3 Global; Nick Stephey, Prototype Fabricator for Deshler Group; Justin Morelock, Transportation Designer for M3D experiences; and Chuck Zender, Assistant Plant Manager for Amanda Manufacturing spoke. Matt Binkowski of M3D experiences, our experience design firm, moderated the discussion.

The panel brought together key SEMA project team members to explain how they collaborated on design, fabrication and manufacturing efforts to create ingenious door, mirror and bumper Jeep Wrangler prototypes, all of which had attracted substantial attention at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas in November, 2014.

Maker Faire Detroit Attendees Admiring SEMA Prototype Doors, Bumpers and Mirrors

Maker Faire Detroit Attendees Admiring Amanda Products’ SEMA Prototype Doors, Bumpers and Mirrors

The project was unique from the start, bringing in executives, designers and engineers for marathon ideation sessions where imagination was encouraged and big ideas were wanted. Out of those sessions came several cutting-edge ideas for off-road products, several of which were then engineered and brought to life by a talented team of fabricators.

Read more about the Amanda Products Road to SEMA story here.

In addition to the presentation, Amanda Products and GS3 Global sponsored a booth, designed by M3D experiences, at Maker Faire. The booth included prototype parts on their SEMA Jeep as well as a built-out off-road race buggy, multimedia presentations, and interactive exhibit. Mr. Morelock offered industrial design demonstrations and a live video drawing table. He demonstrated his design process and helped Maker Faire participants, including many children, create their own automotive solutions.

Designer Justin Morelock Tutoring Young Maker Faire Detroit Attendees in Automotive Design

Designer Justin Morelock Tutoring Young Maker Faire Detroit Attendees in Automotive Design

Based in Southeast Michigan, Deshler Group is committed to strengthening and reshoring American manufacturing jobs and growing a professional, technically skilled workforce, including the members of the Amanda Manufacturing team in Logan, Ohio.