Between semesters at Anoka Technical College (Anoka, MN) and while interning on the greens staff at Golden Valley Golf and Country Club (Golden Valley, MN), Rob Grant had one of those "better ideas": a simple, plastic, easily removable device to protect golf cups from paint drips, spray and pigment stain, and sand topdressing.
Thus, the Cup-Saver was born.
Grant had a virtual prototype designed on a CAD system and a physical model produced via 3-D printing, a relatively new "additive manufacturing" process that slices a virtual prototype into digital cross sections to serve as a blueprint for "printing". The machine then lays down successive layers of liquid, powder, paper or sheet material until the final 3D model is complete. The final product is made of engineered thermoplastic.
Looking sort of like an inverted funnel, the Cup-Saver fits inside the cup hole and rests on the top lip of the golf cup... beneath the inch of soil frequently painted white for visibility. The inverted "nose" serves as a handle to quickly insert and remove the Cup-Saver while painting cup rings, before and after spraying, and to keep sand topdressing out of the cup.
The Cup-Saver is available for purchase through cup-saver.com, Pricing is $130 for four and $275 for ten.