3D Printed Dunlop Max 200G

RDM

Rookie
Given that the universally admired Dunlop Max 200G is an injection moulded Nylon/Graphite construction, and that the technology of 3D printing is progressing rapidly, it would seem that one day it might be possible to have such a racquet printed to suit your needs.
The graphite filled nylon is already available as a material. The surface finishes leave a little to be desired at the moment, but that's nothing that couldn't be fixed with a little post printing hand work and will improve further in the future anyway I suspect. Costs are probably prohibitive currently but they are coming down quickly. You would need to ensure it was printed in the correct orientation/layup to maximise the strength and best replicate the homogeneous injection moulded equivalent.
Fine tuning to suit your needs could be easily managed if the CAD models are constructed properly. Different frame wall thickness, weight, head size, string patterns would all be able to be modified with a few clicks of the mouse. No need for the singular design expensive injection moulded tooling.
One can only dream I guess.

https://i.imgur.com/kbo2WCz.jpg
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
Interesting introductory post and thought exercise! :)

While there is no doubt that you will be able to print a racquet that is dimensionally identical to the 200G, it won't be an exact clone behaviorally, because the fiber/resin mix available for 3D printing will almost certainly be different from the one used to mold the 200G. For one thing, the length of chopped carbon fibers used for injection molding is on the order of millimeters. I don't know if this is achievable yet in the case of 3D printing. The weight to volume ratio of fiber/resin mix was 30% for the 200G. What is that limit for 3D printing?

The stated aim of the 200G design was to mass produce a high quality fiber-reinforced plastic racquet cheaply and much faster than can be achieved through hand-laying. In contrast, 3D printing is ideal for making one-of-a-kind items, not so much for mass production. If you are going to use this method to make a racquet, your time, money and effort would be better spent making something that doesn't exist, and which can never be made using any other method, instead of something that still shows up regularly on the "Best items you found at thrift stores (Goodwill)?" thread.

Since the specific strength of the printed material will only be a fraction of that of the continuous-fiber-reinforced plastic, your racquet will need a lot of internal structural support to be light enough and strong enough for play. The 200G has its internal pillars surrounding each string hole; the complexity of which is limited by the need to be able to drain out the fusible metal core during the annealing step. You don't have this limitation during 3D printing, and should be able to create an intricate internal architecture that is totally out of reach via all other means.

If I were to print a racquet, I would use different materials for different parts of the frame (something that can't be done with injection molding). I would print the shell using clear polycarbonate, and use different colors to highlight the internal structural elements, in a tasteful manner of course. :)
 

RDM

Rookie
If nothing else the Dunlop Max 200G is proof of the viability of something like nylon (with additives) to produce a "playable" racquet - and a highly "playable" one at that.
As Sanglier has suggested, the potential with something like 3D printing is that any material deficiencies/limitations inherent in the process itself would be able to be compensated for by building an internal structure design of almost limitless complexity.
Complete personalisation of your racquet would be possible, as would pre printing testing via stress analysis simulation software.
Currently 3D printing is currently not suitable for mass production I know, but things change quickly in this world.
 

Ultra 2

Professional
What would be nice is we can get those to print out grommets for my classic frames.. that would be a nice start. More feasible too I imagine.
 

max

Legend
Kind of an amusing thought.

About ten years ago, I thought of having a local firm produce a new version of the Max 200G. They had much of what would be needed (although I think now, it would have been difficult making the metal molds----or so viciously expensive that it would have been a rich man's hobby horse).

The determining question for me, and it kept going back to this, was whether any would sell. It would take hundreds of sales at least. What you have is an 85-sq.inch racquet head, very heavy and with high swing weight. . . this means there really is only a tiny sliver of the playing population that might ever consider it.
 

TadDavis

Rookie
Kind of an amusing thought.

About ten years ago, I thought of having a local firm produce a new version of the Max 200G. They had much of what would be needed (although I think now, it would have been difficult making the metal molds----or so viciously expensive that it would have been a rich man's hobby horse).

The determining question for me, and it kept going back to this, was whether any would sell. It would take hundreds of sales at least. What you have is an 85-sq.inch racquet head, very heavy and with high swing weight. . . this means there really is only a tiny sliver of the playing population that might ever consider it.
Put me down for at least 2.
 

RDM

Rookie
Even low volume tooling for such an enterprise as max has considered would probably run up to a couple of hundred thousand dollars at least. A financial return would not be easily guaranteed.
 
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RDM

Rookie
What would be nice is we can get those to print out grommets for my classic frames.. that would be a nice start. More feasible too I imagine.
I'd happily model up a grommet strip for you to get 3D printed for "proof of concept" if you wanted.
It would be very quick/simple to model but I would need a fully dimensioned sketch with accurately measured dimensions in order to do so.
 

Ultra 2

Professional
Thanks for your offer, but I’m not sure how I would do this. While I can measure the external dimensions, I am unsure as to what degree of tolerance I need to measure the internal/external grommets holes and the distance between each string placement/position.

A complete rank amateur at this..
 

RDM

Rookie
Thanks for your offer, but I’m not sure how I would do this. While I can measure the external dimensions, I am unsure as to what degree of tolerance I need to measure the internal/external grommets holes and the distance between each string placement/position.

A complete rank amateur at this..
Grommet strips would need to be removed, pegged out flat and measured completely and accurately with a a set of vernier/digital calipers. Measurement accuracy within 0.1 mm would probably do.
A lot to ask it's true.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Given that the universally admired Dunlop Max 200G is an injection moulded Nylon/Graphite construction, and that the technology of 3D printing is progressing rapidly, it would seem that one day it might be possible to have such a racquet printed to suit your needs.
The graphite filled nylon is already available as a material. The surface finishes leave a little to be desired at the moment, but that's nothing that couldn't be fixed with a little post printing hand work and will improve further in the future anyway I suspect. Costs are probably prohibitive currently but they are coming down quickly. You would need to ensure it was printed in the correct orientation/layup to maximise the strength and best replicate the homogeneous injection moulded equivalent.
Fine tuning to suit your needs could be easily managed if the CAD models are constructed properly. Different frame wall thickness, weight, head size, string patterns would all be able to be modified with a few clicks of the mouse. No need for the singular design expensive injection moulded tooling.
One can only dream I guess.

https://i.imgur.com/kbo2WCz.jpg
Given all the time experimentation out there I have to figure someone has tried 3D printing a racquet. A table tennis bat would be a better choice if nothing else but the size.

That said I don’t see why 3D printing of racquets wouldn’t be the next step in racquet technology. But not now. The technology isn’t there yet and racquets just seems like a terrible way to invest a lot of technology. That’s why nowadays you see racquet manufacturers touting fiber fabrics and other materials that aren’t really their own. Textreme Aramid Countervail Kevlar just to name a few. Whereas in the past companies like Dunlop would experiment with their own layups and unique technologies.

The current method of racquet production seems to be well suited to quickly change models for both marketing and engineering purposes. They can make subtle and even radical changes to a model without making new molds. This allows for endless tinkering both good and bad.

We are sort of in a golden age of materials engineering with all the high tech fabrics plastics and wood products right now. In another couple of decades 3D printing will be far beyond the extruded toothpaste methods of today and allow extremely precise additive layers and volumes of specific materials in a timely fashion. It will be amazing.

So for example we could actually have a skilled engineer completely replicate the look specs and feel of a classic frame (assuming access to an original) in days instead of months and without making expensive molds. We could truly have custom frames.
 
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dnguyen

Hall of Fame
I would buy a pair if that happened.

It would be nice to develop the thin beam of grommet less Max 200G with stronger material for recommended tension between 50lbs and 60lbs.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
So I quickly printed up some “grommets” to see what would happen.

The biggest issue I see is that plastic used in most 3D printers is fairly brittle compared to the stuff used in injection molded grommets. Granted I only use PLA which is probably not ideal but I think even ABS would be too brittle if done through a typical desktop printer.

Now I am sure some shop has a composite 3D printer that can solve all this but the question is why? As already said 3D printing is more suitable to one off items. Since grommets can be replaced via the fittex or similar system there is no need to produce replacement sets for individual racquets. They can just be replaced string by string.
 
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