Instructables

How to cut a golf ball in half? We did it at TechShop.

Picture of How to cut a golf ball in half?  We did it at TechShop.
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Background:
     One may ask, "Why would ask why would someone want to cut the golf ball in half?"   In basic science, the final application is often of secondary importance.  The question here is how can it be done?


Problems:
      I made a fixture to hold the golf ball so I could drill holes to insert the LEDs ad tilt switch.  The golf holding fixture works well   I could have done it with the MakerBot but it is much way faster to do it on the Epilog laser cutter   Then I glued the layers together
      I attempted to mill the nickel cell battery cavity but the end mill is too short and it would take days for the longer one to be available.

      The 2nd attempt was to use laser cutter to deepen the slot.   After 5 passes, the laser cutter failed to make even a slight progress.   We later found that the rubbery compound of the golf ball was not suitable for laser cutting. 

      The 3rd attempt is to make a wooden fixture to use the wood bandsaw and metal bandsaw  When on wood bandsaw, the teeth were too coarse and it ruined the surface.  When on metal bandsaw, it won't cut.  The ball moved around and rolled.   When I inserted a pin behind the golf ball to the wood support, the pin just bent.   So this was a huge failure.  The challenge is that we could not clamp the golf ball by its side because it would jam the saw blade

Solution:
        I approached a fellow member who was working on a project involving the water jet cutter.   He offered to help me cut the golf ball.   So I used the laser cutter to cut a hole slightly small than the diameter of the golf ball.  I got a bigger scrap wood and glued this plywood on the larger wood.  Then I glued on the golf ball on the plywood hole perimeter.   My friend line up the water jet to move in a 3 inch line cutting pattern and align the golf ball to be in the path of the water jet.

Results:
       The golf ball could be cut in one pass with the right slow speed.   The cut edge and surface is so smooth. 

Comment:
        It is unthinkable that the water jet cutter that is primarily used to cut 8 inches of metal and hardwood would be the same machine that is able to cut the golf ball in half in so smooth and gentle manner.
This is so awesome!!