Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dr. Byard Wood
This report discusses the design of a prototype transformable putting green that can be programmed to recreate the topography of any putting green. The goal of the design was to give a realistic putting experience with real topography in an indoor environment. This report discusses the design of a pair of 4’x4’ module prototypes; a commercial implementation of this design would utilize a number of modules to create putting greens on a more realistic scale (example 12’x32’). The design of a full size transformable putting green necessitates a topographical range of up to 30”. After initial concepts and preliminary designs it was determined that the budget was insufficient for a putting green with a full topographical range of 30”. To reduce cost while still providing a proof of concept, the design scope was reduced to a smaller topographical range. This design presents a 4’x8’ prototype consisting of two 4’x4’ modules each with a topographical range of 6” across their width. The prototype uses an array of linear actuators to create the topography. The actuators are mounted vertically in a frame and are placed in a square grid array. Each module contains a 6x6 array of actuators (or 36 actuators per module) with 8 inch spacing between the centers of each actuator. Each of the linear actuators has a vertical range of 6”. The actuators are attached to a subsurface to carry the loads between the actuators and to create a uniform surface. The primary purpose of the subsurface is to create a smoothly contoured putting surface that simulates the smooth curves of a putting green. Attached to the subsurface is an artificial turf that creates a seamless, realistic putting surface. Each module is controlled by a microcontroller. The microcontroller dictates the steps for all the stepper motors in each of the linear actuators. The use of stepper motors on the linear actuators gives precise control over the resolution of the putting surface. The micro-controllers are governed by a computers controlling function which dictates the steps of the motors. Power to the stepper motors is supplied by a computer power supply that runs on a standard 110 volt AC circuit. However, a 220 volt AC circuit can be used for larger module arrays. Each 4’x4’ module is self-contained and can be moved via castor wheels mounted on the base of each module. The electronic control interface between each module and the computer USB connection. Each of the prototype modules is 4’x4’x10” tall and weighs 250lbs. The cost to produce two modules with an included 10% over-run protection is $5,409.44
Ralphs, Matthew, "Re-Configurable Putting Green" (2012). Undergraduate Honors Theses. Paper 110.
Copyright for this work is retained by the student.