3D Printing ProcessesConsumer ProductsSports Equipment

US Open winner DeChambeau plays with 3D printed irons

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Last week, professional golfer Bryson DeChambeau took home his second trophy for the US Open, beating out Rory McIlroy by a single stroke. As it turns out, DeChambeau may owe some of his success to his equipment, particularly his custom 3D printed golf clubs.

In April 2024, DeChambeau, who is known for his bringing his background in physics onto the course, became the first person to use 3D printed irons on a PGA Tour. These custom irons, which the California-born golfer used to clinch his recent victory, are made by Avoda Golf and integrate a feature fairly uncommon in traditional iron design: a bulge and roll in the iron face. This type of curvature tends to be more common in woods. As many golf experts are noting after DeChambeau’s success, this creative change could be a significant innovation in the game.

Golf Cobra LIMIT3D These unique irons, which were approved by the United States Golf Association (USGA) just ahead of the 2024 Masters, are reportedly worth $10,000 and are currently the only irons of their kind ever made. Additive manufacturing was a critical part of bringing DeChambeau’s vision to life, as it enabled rapid prototyping, design freedom and ultimately the ability to print a custom iron directly. Most recently, Cobra released LIMIT3D, an exclusive series of 3D printed irons (only 500 sets were available) made using metal additive manufacturing. In making the now sold out series of irons, Cobra leveraged printed 316 stainless steel and nTop’s advanced topology optimization software to create a weight-saving lattice structure. According to the company, the lattice design enabled the repositioning of 33% of the clubhead weight allowing for a smaller profile and higher MOI and lower CG.

This latest trend in golf equipment design and production could be just that, a trend. Or, it could transform the future of golf. According to DeChambeau, 3D printing in golf won’t be mainstream just yet, but it will get there. “I don’t think it’s for mass consumption yet,” he told Golfweek. “But it will get there, and I’m certainly looking forward to some improvements in the technology because man, it would be so cool. Imagine having a 3D printer at your house, and you just print your own iron or do whatever. You can put it together and go hit it that afternoon. That’s really cool, compared to having a six-month process of prototyping it out and measuring it up and doing a couple iterations; maybe one of them is right, one of them is wrong, but you just 3D print in an hour or so a metal head and you stick a shaft on it and you go hit it.”

Research
Consumer Products AM 2024

1,346 polymer and metal AM companies and 143 end-users. Consumer products AM generated $2.6 billion in 2023. Segment expected to grow to $28 billion by 2033 at 26.8% CAGR. This new market study fro...

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