3D Printing Growth in Sporting Goods

Aug. 7, 2023
What is driving the demand for additive manufacturing in the sporting goods marketspace? Let’s look to the supply chain and trends in additive manufacturing for some answers.

Glen Mason, manager of advanced innovation and industrialization at DeMarini, a division of Wilson Sporting Goods and Lasse Staal, business development director of Nexa3D, spoke with Sharon Spielman, technical editor of Machine Design, about additive manufacturing for the sporting goods space. 

In this first of a five-part series, we learn a bit about Mason and Staal, their roles at their respective companies and about Nexa3D’s acquisition of Addifab, which intensified the collaboration of 3D printing and tooling for these two suppliers.

READ MORE: R&D Spotlight: Defect Detection in Metal 3D Printing, Multi-Metal Design, Plus a Novel Design Approach

Mason explains why no access to components due to supply chain issues drove Wilson to use 3D printing for bat handle tooling production. The bat maker was able to take a two-year R&D design cycle and reduce it to just days. 

We need parts we can get in our R&D team’s hand, get them into some field testing so that we can make our target for the product release. It was just a really great way to show how capable this technology is and really how it solved the real problem, particularly in this case with the composite material,” Mason says.

This case study, which was conducted in summer 2022, was the impetus for this series. In just one short year, equipment, technology and materials have evolved. Mason and Staal talk about the trends we see in the materials used for additive manufacturing. 

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