Custom bowling ball grip 3D scanned, modeled and printed

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In competitive bowling correct grip fit is vital. The finger holes need to fit your fingers to a fraction of a millimeter in order to reach optimal performance.

We started the creation of an exact 3D model for the customer from a fitting made by an American company Turbogrip (pictures of the original):


The fitting in its place (the final printout):

The customer says the original system is excellent but its downside is the difficult manual adjustment. A bowler usually has several different kinds of balls and he will need to manually fine down and adjust the standard part to fit his needs in different situations with different balls. It is very difficult to create two fittings that are exactly the same using this method. The customer turned to us to 3D scan his best fitting so he wouldn't need to do the manual honing anymore.

We tried the scanning but it turned out that the interior of the part was too small and the details did not reflect back to the scanner sensors correctly. The image below shows how one slice is scanned accurately only about 3 cm into the tube:

Failed 3D scanning

We're not in the habit of giving up so we changed tactics and decided to take exact measurements of the part and create a 3D model of it. This turned out perfect and now we can create perfectly fitting Turbogrips with different measurements for the customer (and also for other bowling fans). The customer was especially pleased because his fingers tend to swell in hot weather and now we can make adjustments to the model in the summer.

We modeled the tube profile on three different planes: the outer measurement is about 5 mm inside the tube, the next is at about 3 cm and the last at the tip of the finger. After this the tube was shaped to correspond to the measured profile points and it ended up fitting really well:

The profile is fitted to the customer's hand with 0.05 mm precision:

The profile of the part is very accurate and contains plenty of details:

The end result fits well into the locking mechanism in the ball thanks to the accurate measurements:

The edge is rounded to fit the finger perfectly in the specific position where the part locks into the ball:

If you're interested in ordering an exact fitting for your ball, please place an order for a free cost estimate including exact measurements of your finger (width in 4 places and exact finger lenght):

You should budget 95€ + VAT for the project because we will first create a draft version that can be tested and improved. After this you can order as many copies of the final model as you wish at 28€ + VAT a piece.

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