Dell Precision Helps Design the World’s First Indestructible Cooler

NOTE: This post is the beginning of a Dell Precision “Purpose Built” series that started with last week’s post on Kenguru and Hargrove. ”Purpose Built” will share the stories of ground-breaking design that touch the lives of many people.   

Brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders grew up with a passion for the outdoors – hunting, fishing and traveling to outdoor industry tradeshows with their teacher-turned-entrepreneur father. But the coolers that were out there just weren’t able to keep up with their outdoor adventures – the handles would break, the latches would snap off and the lids would cave-in. Not only was it a hassle to replace their coolers after each season, but these cheaply built, ordinary ice chests were limiting their good times.

A grizzly bear chews on a Yeti cooler - image courtesy of Yeti Coolers

That frustration led them to a solution – to design the cooler they’d use every day if it existed. It would be built for the serious outdoorsmen rather than for the mass discount retailers. Today, YETI Coolers offers the best premium coolers on the market and are known for delivering the ultimate in design, performance and durability.

“YETI represents an outdoor lifestyle and being outdoors with friends and family – that’s just truly a special experience and it’s not worth our time to sacrifice the experience based on cheap gear,” said Roy Seiders, CEO and co-founder at YETI Coolers. “We’re trying to bring a vision to market with a high-quality product and we’re going to use every tool possible and a big piece of that is technology.”

Today, YETI is bringing on new products, building a premium brand and defining what YETI stands for. And the technology the company’s  engineering team is using to develop these products from start to finish includes Dell Precision workstations and Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS.

“When I was choosing a mobile workstation, it was really important that I found one that was certified to work with SOLIDWORKS,” said John Tolman, Engineer at YETI Coolers. “Whenever your computer and your software are acting smoothly and being really responsive, it just makes it so much easier to do your work and you’re more productive. Of all of the workstations that were certified for SOLIDWORKS, the Dell Precision workstations had the best specs. There’s no lag, it doesn’t matter how big a model I have open, whenever I click on something, it immediately responds to it.”

Using Dell Precision workstations and SOLIDWORKS allows YETI’s engineers to model out different products very rapidly. They’re able to take something from an industrial designer’s sketch and turn it into a solid model to have it 3D printed. The software also lets them show the rest of the team exactly what a product could or would look like so they can receive immediate feedback and make changes, making it possible to iterate faster and more often.

“Not only does it let us bring the product development cycle into a shorter timeframe, it also lets us make sure that we are back to our engineering philosophy of making sure that everything is just right, the way that we want it – and that it’s true to our brand and our design language,” said Tolman.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that YETI had the potential to be where we are today,” added Seiders. “With all YETI products we’re going to be pushing the envelope, taking no shortcuts.  We’re going to continue to innovate, creating products that add value and that are premium.” 

Watch the video to find out more about the technology and design process used by YETI Coolers to create their indestructible products. 

About the Author: Andy Rhodes