University of Dundee.
3D printed golf club
As the world’s top golfers prepare for the 40th Ryder Cup tournament this weekend, researchers from the University of Dundee are recreating golfing history through 3D printing.
In collaboration with St Andrews Golf Co., the University’s Mechanical and Engineering division has produced the world’s first metal 3D printed club head.
The project was designed to investigate the process of making high quality examples of historically important woods, irons, and putters using traditional craft methods.
The team worked on two clubs; a ‘President’ Water Iron from around 1885 made by James Anderson of Anstruther, and a Rake Iron from around five years later by an unknown maker.
Loaned by the British Golf Museum, the club was carefully scanned using the NEXT Engine 3D Scanner at the University to include all dents and damage collected over its 125 year life. The image was then processed to remove any foreign data and using EOS’s Metal Laser Sintering technology, the part was printed in cobalt chrome, a process which took just 29 hours to complete. Upon returning to the University, the print proved so strong that it could not be drilled by traditional methods so was sent to the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre to be finished.
University of Dundee.
Preserving heritage through 3D printing
Grant Payne of St Andrews Golf Co. said: “We are delighted to have assisted in the production of the world’s first metal 3D-printed club head. The avenues opened up by combining the latest in manufacturing technology with the traditional craftsmanship practiced by St Andrews Golf Co Ltd are exciting. It was only made possible through our Industrial Partnership with the University and we hope it will demonstrate to people we’re thinking about the future, whilst being considerate of the past.”
St Andrews Golf Co. is the only remaining company in the world to maintain the practice of producing golf clubs by hand, a process which has waned since the adoption of digital based production. The team hopes these examples of ancient golf clubs will preserve the importance of Scotland’s cultural and manufacturing heritage.