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3D Printed Irons?


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On the last season of Driver vs Driver on the Golf Channel they 3D printed prototype driver heads.

 

IIRC they weren't very durable, but given the forces/thicknesses involved that wasn't surprising. An iron head, which is essentially solid, would be a lot easier task I would think. Not to mention the 7 or so years of technology advancements.

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36 minutes ago, Climbhard said:

What are they taking about?  You cant 3D print steel?  Are they 3D printed molds?  That would make sense.

3D printing metal has been around for decades.

 

Shoot, almost 3 years ago I designed and printed a putter out of a Stainless Steel/Bronze alloy.

Edited by hollabachgt
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1 minute ago, Climbhard said:

Really?  I had no idea?  I cant even imagine how that would work.

The oldest and most common method is binder jet printing, where you have a bed of powdered metal alloy and you use a nozzle to precisely inject a line of binder on top of the powder bed to bind the medium together. The process is repeated layer by layer to build up the solid part.

The bound metal part is then placed in a very hot oven to sinter it. Which fuses the metal particles into a solid part, burning off the binding agent, and shrinking the part to it's final dimensions.

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3D printing probably is fine for clubs, NCW is 3D printing putters. But for full sets it doesn't scale well yet, give it 10 more years IMO. 

 

You'll see metal 3D printing used a lot to create tool and die for molding or extruding custom small run parts/prototyping, basically eliminates the need for machining. 

Edited by DFS PFD
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Fairly certain I read they had to machine the face because they couldn't do the grooves with the precision needed.

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46 minutes ago, Socrates said:

Fairly certain I read they had to machine the face because they couldn't do the grooves with the precision needed.

That’s not surprising. Due to the shrinking experience during the sintering process it can be challenging to hold fine tolerance in spec. Especially considering the faces have bulge and roll you’d want to cut the groove after.

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I heard that they had to re-work the grooves by hand, due to the "layering" caused by the manufacturing process.

I would think machining existing heads would be extremely difficult due to the bulge and roll on the face. Very difficult to get everything aligned.

Much easier to fully machine the heads and grooves on a 5 axis machine.

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2 minutes ago, Ger21 said:

I heard that they had to re-work the grooves by hand, due to the "layering" caused by the manufacturing process.

I would think machining existing heads would be extremely difficult due to the bulge and roll on the face. Very difficult to get everything aligned.

Much easier to fully machine the heads and grooves on a 5 axis machine.

 

I had the exact same thought after looking up what was so special about BDC's amazing new sticks.

 

Maybe there's complex internal geometries or multiple materials involved or something, but manufacturers have been doing that with conventionally produced irons for years now. Tweak the CAD files, write some CNC instructions, and throw the blanks into a 5 axis. EZPZ, nothing to it. Acushnet, if you're reading this, I'm open to a career change and willing to relocate!

 

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Other than DeShampoo, I can't see this being a thing.  Just what Pro's need, another variable to concern themselves with when hitting a shot.  It likely will have gone away before the next Major.

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I had the cobra irons two years ago (3d printed). They were impossible to bend loft and lie angles and felt horrible.

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21 hours ago, hollabachgt said:

The oldest and most common method is binder jet printing, where you have a bed of powdered metal alloy and you use a nozzle to precisely inject a line of binder on top of the powder bed to bind the medium together. The process is repeated layer by layer to build up the solid part.

The bound metal part is then placed in a very hot oven to sinter it. Which fuses the metal particles into a solid part, burning off the binding agent, and shrinking the part to it's final dimensions.

Thats pretty amazing.  I'll just stick to international tax planning for multi-nationals.🤣

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3 hours ago, Socrates said:

Other than DeShampoo, I can't see this being a thing.  Just what Pro's need, another variable to concern themselves with when hitting a shot.  It likely will have gone away before the next Major.


I believe Club Champion tested some and the conclusion was - "Unless you swing at/above Bryson's speed..." you don't need or even really want them.

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