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 last part of a five-part series,we learn that Nexa3D wants to provide a flexible ecosystem that allows users to utilize Nexa3D’s software as well as other software like SolidWorks or CAD. This approach promotes compatibility and sustainability as it allows manufacturers to use their existing equipment instead of having to invest in entirely new software or equipment.
“So, to get this to work, you don’t have to buy a new injection molding machine or a new material for that matter,” Staal says. “You can use what’s already there. And that’s also part of the sustainability. We shouldn’t try to replace stuff that already works; we should try to enhance it.”
Recognizing the Potential, Promoting Technology Literacy
When it comes to manufacturing parts or tooling, Mason explains theoption to outsource to third-party manufacturers. They have collaborations with noncompetitive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that can bring their parts to for review and assistance in the digital manufacturing process.This collaboration includes proof of concept for injection-molded parts. The goal is to help OEMs realize the benefits of digital manufacturing and decide whether to invest in a system on their own.
Mason says they want to build a community of users and promote literacy in this technology. “Lots of great things are happening here at Wilson, all enabled by the free-form injection molding technology,” he says. “I see just a tremendous amount of potential and I'm sure we will continue to have conversations like this as we're bringing out new products using this technology.”