Aerospace & Defense Tooling Design Testing, Prototyping

At Nortech, we pride ourselves on creating specialized tooling solutions that help speed up the production process. Our aerospace & defense design, testing and prototyping processes are designed to ensure any necessary tool adjustments can be made rapidly, keeping your project on track. Plus, the great thing about our tooling is its versatility; it’s made to handle different cable and connector sizes with ease. This way, you get the flexibility you need without compromising on quality or timeliness.

Tooling Design & Manufacture – Molds and Manufacturing/Test Fixtures

In-House Capability

Nortech designs and builds most of our in house reducing project cost and lead time. This capability provides for tool validation and modifications with minimal impact to project plans.

Large Inventory of Tools

Thousands of existing mold tools are available off the shelf.  These tools include 2-part cast molds, injection molds, and transfer molds. Strain relief molds in straight, right angle, 45°, and rectangular are available.  Multiple leg junction molds in Y, T, X and straight configurations are available. Our tooling system uses interchangeable parts to allow configuration to varying cable and connector sizes. These molds are available for use without tooling charges. Upon request, Nortech engineering will recommend mold envelope dimensions using existing tooling based on your connector and installation requirements.

Aerospace and Defense tooling, testing, and prototyping

Tool Materials

Tool materials are selected based on volume and molding method. Aluminum, steel, thermoplastic, fluoropolymer, and 3D printed  materials are utilized.

  • Aluminum mold tools are typically used for projects requiring 50 shots and up. Aluminum is well suited to the 2-part cast molding process for high volume runs.  Typically, fluoropolymer coatings are used to eliminate mold release from casting molds. Aluminum is also suitable for low to medium run injection molds under 1,000 shots.
  • Steel is typically used for injection molds that will produce high volumes greater than 1,000 shots.
  • 3D printed tools are suitable for prototype and medium volume use. 3D printed cast molds will last for hundreds of shots. 3D printed injection molds are used up to 100 shots.

3D Printed Tools and Fixtures

Nortech has in house capability for 3D printing prototype and production tooling. Materials available include flexible and rigid acrylic polymer, ABS, polycarbonate, and Ultem™. Printing capability includes both FDM (fused deposition modeling) and PolyJet. Utilizing this technology for our aerospace & defense clients, Nortech can provide quick turn prototype tooling for fit checks and tool validation.

3D Printing for Aerospace and Defense

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Our capability to design manufacturing and test fixtures allows us to improve product quality through error proofing the build and test processes. As part of the new product introduction cycle, length and layout, assembly, and check fixtures are created for process standardization.


Nortech utilizes solid model computer aided design software for tool design. Nortech can utilize your solid, stp, or dwg files to produce custom moldings and cable runs. Solidworks and Creo are used natively.

Computer-aided design

Tooling Manufacturing Equipment

Nortech’s internal machine shop capability includes:

  • Multiple Vertical Machining Centers-3 axis
  • Multiple Turning Centers with Live Tooling
  • Stratasys Fortus 400mc Printer
  • Stratasys Objet260 Connex 3 Printer

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