3D printing is not all about aerospace, medical and industrial application. Occasionally, there’s the fun side of 3D printing; like golf.
COBRA Golf, a leader in golf club innovation, used 3D Printing technology on its KING Supersport-35 putter. This putter has been under development over the past two years in collaboration with COBRA engineers and the teams at HP and Parmatech. It features a fully 3D printed metal body with an intricate lattice structure to optimize weight distribution and deliver the highest-possible MOI in a blade shape. In addition to the 3D printed design, the putter features a face insert designed in partnership with SIK Golf, which uses their patented Descending Loft Technology (DLT) to create the most consistent and accurate roll on every putt.
The COBRA’s LE 3D-printed Supersport-35 Putter represents a revolutionary advancement in the way golf clubs are designed and manufactured. Born out of a forward-thinking philosophy, COBRA selected HP as its partner to pioneer 3D printing in golf due because of HP’s Metal Jet Technology. With its quick processing time and design adaptability, COBRA engineers were able to design, prototype, and test multiple iterations and bring the product to market faster than using traditional manufacturing methods.
COBRA and HP began working together in early 2019 and, by early 2020, the team had created thirty-five different design iterations over the course of eight months using the HP Metal Jet. In addition to this launch, the brands are working together on a strategic, multi-year product roadmap, that leverages the design and manufacturing benefits of HP’s additive technologies to deliver future golf equipment that raises performance and golfer satisfaction to new levels. This is just the first foray into what promises to be a significant element in future COBRA golf clubs. COBRA has plans to launch two additional products in 2021 that feature 3D printed technology.
COBRA’s Supersport putter, which comes in an oversized blade shape, features SIK Golf’s Patented Descending Loft technology reengineered into an aluminum face insert. This insert design strategically saves weight from the front of the putter to be repositioned heel-toe and tunes the feel to a slightly softer feel than a traditional all-steel SIK putter face. Their signature face design uses four descending lofts (4°, 3°, 2°, 1°) to ensure the most consistent launch conditions for every putting stroke. The partnership, born out of work with SIK Golf partner and COBRA ambassador, Bryson DeChambeau, yields flatsticks that not only provide superior stability and consistency due to 3D printing technology but also significantly improved consistency and roll performance.
“I’ve had a lot of success over the years with my SIK putter and was really excited to work with COBRA to develop a new way to manufacture equipment and bring this new putter to market,” said DeChambeau. “HP’s Metal Jet technology is an incredibly advanced production method and very exacting, which is pretty critical in golf equipment. I think golfers of all levels will benefit from the combination of COBRA’s high MOI design and SIK’s Descending Loft technology.”
HP Metal Jet 3D printing delivers superior part quality and requires minimal post-process finishing. The entire putter body is printed using 316 stainless steel, and then sintered at a high temperature to bind the metal and form the final head part. Due to the capabilities of Metal Jet printing, engineers printed an intricate lattice structure within the body – a manufacturing feat that wouldn’t be possible using traditional casting or forging methods. The lattice fine-tunes feel and optimizes the distribution of weight within the putter head to create the highest MOI without the need for additional fixed weights. During the final step of the manufacturing process, the surfaces of the putter are precision milled using a Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machine to ensure precise shaping and detail while adding the finishing touches to the cosmetic. The Supersport features a high MOI heel-toe weighted design for maximum stability, and a plumber neck hosel with a 35-degree toe hang suitable for slight arc putting strokes.
“HP’s 3D printing technology allows us to use a complex lattice structure to remove weight from the center of the putterhead and push significant amounts of weight to the perimeter,” said Miraflor. “The result is superior MOI levels and massively increased stability and forgiveness. So not only is the 3D production method more consistent but it also allows us to design products in a new and superior way.”
The final product is a celebration of a major revolution in golf club manufacturing in the form of a high-performance putter that will appeal to golf purists seeking a clean look and feel but is packed with advanced technology to improve the quality of a golfer’s short game.
The KING Supersport-35 ($399) will be offered in limited quantities online at cobragolf.com starting Nov. 20, 2020. It is available in 34”, RH only, and comes standard with lightweight polyurethane Lamkin Sinkfit Smart Grip for outstanding feel and weight savings. The grip comes standard with COBRA CONNECT Powered by Arccos, the award-winning smart golf system that helps players make smarter, data-driven decisions. Electronically enabled sensors are embedded into the grip, automatically recording detailed putting data so golfers can track their improvement after each round.