Wilson Sporting Goods reorganizes product development workflows with Nexa3D x Addifab

In the long term, the Nexa3D x Addifab platform will continue to be used to develop new innovations and improvements to existing product lines.

Wilson Sporting Goods looks for better prototype injection molds

Recently, Wilson’s R&D/product development team has been heavily involved in additive manufacturing, working with a number of partners to support continuous product improvement and innovation. “We’re just scratching the surface of additive manufacturing,” says Glen Mason, Manager of Advanced Innovation/Industrialization at DeMarini (a division of Wilson Sporting Goods). “Not only do we want to speed up toolmaking and design iteration cycles, but we also want to look at how we can get to production-ready molds without the need for R&D test components,” he explains. “Our goal in using Nexa3D’s 3D printer and Addifab’s FIM platform is to fail fast and not burden ourselves with getting a design just right the first time.”

Wilson’s research and development team was looking for a more effective way to produce injection molded prototypes.

Before discovering Nexa3D and Addifab, Wilson’s design team used traditional subtractive manufacturing methods to produce its tooling for prototype plastic injection molds. While metal tooling tends to be much stiffer and more robust than plastic tooling, there are some design constraints to consider before getting too far into the concept/design phase.

In addition, Wilson, which has a global manufacturing operation to support, was looking for ways to shorten the product design lifecycle and accelerate time to market to find new ways to
to quickly create functional and testable prototypes.

Prototyping in one day, not months

With Nexa3D’s wide printing range and ultra-fast LSPc process, Wilson’s R&D department can now produce multiple parts at once in the shortest possible time, allowing multiple design iterations in a single print batch. In addition, multiple components that were previously joined together can now be printed as a single part, reducing assembly time and increasing the durability of a particular part.

After drafting an initial concept, the research and development team can usually create a prototype in a single working day – a process that would previously have taken months.

“Because we can iterate so much faster, print tools faster than we can machine them and eliminate some process steps, our R&D team can afford to make mistakes. This helps us to significantly reduce our time to market and allows us to be fast and agile in our design decisions.”

Glen Mason
Manager of Advanced Innovation/Industrialization, DeMarini (a division of Wilson Sporting Goods)