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The feasibility of sports grips customisation using rapid manufacturing methodologies

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posted on 20.07.2018, 13:25 by David F. Barrass
In many sports where an implement is used to strike a ball, the grip is typically the sole point of contact between the player and implement. The grip significantly influences how a player wields an implement and is also a means for a player to experience impact forces and vibration. This transmission of force and vibration to the hand can affect a player's control, perception of the equipment, and also expose a player to injury or provoke degeneration of existing maladies. In general, the grip is the least expensive component of an implement. Little development over the previous two decades has been invested on the grip when compared to the vast changes in design, geometry and materials used in the implements which they are attached to. The development and flexibility of a group of manufacturing processes collectively known as rapid manufacturing have begun to introduce customised products to the mass-market. The main advantage of rapid manufacturing processes is the lack of tooling required, allowing parts to be produced directly from 3D CAD models using an expanding range of polymers and other materials. The integration of rapid manufactured parts into recreational sports equipment has not previously been attempted and is the focus of this work, with tennis selected as the candidate sport. [Continues.]



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© David F. Barrass

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.



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