Callaway Golf Company, manufacturer of high-performance golf equipment, has signed a consultancy agreement with GE Additive’s AddWorks team to help it harness the potential of additive manufacturing. The first project resulting from the agreement is a redesigned Odyssey R-Ball Prototype putter head. Odyssey is Callaway Golf’s putter brand and the number 1 Putter in Golf®.
As part of its product innovation strategy, Callaway uses a range of manufacturing techniques to innovate and produce clubs and equipment that reflect the different aesthetic and acoustic tastes of professional and amateur golfers in every region.
The reworked Odyssey R-Ball Prototype putter was originally developed as a tour preferred model in Japan, but its design had an acoustic signature unique to that local market. Callaway’s goal was to see how additive manufacturing could change that acoustic signature while retaining the preferred shape and performance.
For this putter head, the best way to optimize acoustics was to add geometry that made it difficult for conventional casting methods. GE Additive Addworks’ engineering consultants worked with Callaway’s design and engineering teams to apply additive manufacturing design practices and build upon an already-proven design: AddWorks provided guidance to Callaway, based on decades of additive design background spanning several industries. The team refined existing designs to the build direction to ensure all features were self-supported or easily supported during the build. The AddWorks team designed supports for thermal stresses and overhang constraints. Topology optimization was used in conjunction with acoustical mapping to create the optimal design.