KD-1 Golf Club
The final result of Krone and CRP's collaboration: KD-1.
Race car manufacturer, CRP Group and golfing manufacturer, Krone Golf have combined additive manufacturing and subtractive manufacturing techniques to craft what they believe is the world’s most advanced golf driver.
The KD-1 is the first Windform SP 3D-printed driver clubhead with CNC machined titanium hitting surface. It is a composite driver clubhead where the different materials have a specific function and structural competence.
Its body structure has been manufactured by CRP Technology ‘s 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing department utilising Laser Sintering and the innovative Windform SP Additive Manufacturing material. Windform SP is a highly ductile material with top mechanical resistance, generally used where there is high stress fatigue even in time as type vibration or shock without the risk of breaking. The elasticity helps to absorb the mechanical stress.
Ti6AI4V titanium alloy was chosen for the product because of its durability at a light weight. It also satisfies the need to have arts that comply with weight and size constraints. The shape of the KD-1 face part has made it vital to us cutting edge precision engineering machinery. Krone recognised the superior level of technological expertise at CRP Meccanica, the direct result of its origins in the world of motorsport, an extremely demanding field that expects a level of reliability and precision out of the ordinary.
Krone were determined to create world’s most advanced high-performance golf equipment, but felt traditional ‘mass produced’ manufacturing techniques needed to be moved away from. Additionally, the most innovative materials, high tech processes and partner with industry leaders in manufacturing to develop a golf driver that sets a new standard for quality and performance.
CRP Group were selected to provide guidance on how to combine additive manufacturing with High-Precision CNC machining.
The engineering behind a golf driver involves optimising the thickness of each surface, controlling total weight of the head, and tuning the centre of gravity of the assembly. To achieve a truly great club, there must be a balance of these elements. The Rules Committee for Professional Golf have placed limitations on the maximum size and volume that a golf driver can be. This has held back innovation and resulted in major golf club manufacturers to design similar products.
“We see the opportunity to do something revolutionary in the golf industry and design a superior product through the use of intelligent design, innovative materials and high tech manufacturing methods,” said Marc Kronenberg, Krone CEO. “In our working experience with CRP so far, we have not had any [production] issues. The part quality, consistency, and accuracy from both their CNC Machining and 3D Printing Departments has been outstanding.”
Krone and CRP believe their product brings a number of advantages over other drivers on the market. High-Precision CNC Machining and additive manufacturing technologies with windform material has improved the speed, precision, design flexibility and part optimisation of the KD-1. Meanwhile the combination of 3D printing and CNC machining has meant time has been saved during the manufacturing process.
“We plan to continue to work closely with CRP to refine the design so that it can take full advantage of their CNC and additive manufacturing processes and bring the concept of ‘mass customisation’ for individually made golf components to market by the end of this year,” added Kronenberg. “The use of Windform SP and titanium has allowed me to really push the limits for the ‘performance’ of the golf club. Its performance level, as predicted in computer simulations, is unlike any other golf club available today.”