Alpine Advanced Materials, a leading expert in the design and manufacturing of custom-engineered parts for the world’s most demanding aerospace, defense, energy, space, and transportation applications, sought to overcome the challenges associated with traditional metal parts. By introducing high-performance injection molded composites that are significantly lighter than metal yet equally as strong, Alpine is able to provide scalable and flexible manufacturing services that are more economical and environmentally conscious as well.
Partnering with Nexa3D and utilizing the XiP desktop 3D Printer and Freeform Injection Molding (FIM) process to produce 3D printed tools, Alpine is able to drastically reduce both their prototype tooling production times and costs in order to put parts in the hands of their customers for swift validation, testing, and customer acceptance before making large investments in permanent tools.
Conventional tooling is too costly and has long lead times
For Alpine Advanced Materials, the conventional injection molding approach required significant upfront investment in permanent steel tooling, hindering the ability to rapidly produce prototype parts for testing and validation in key high-performance materials like HX5®, a multi-scale reinforced polymer with exceptional performance over a wide range of temperatures and extreme environmental conditions.
Additionally, standard 3D printing had proven too costly and it couldn’t withstand the high molding temperatures of their composite polymers.