Just in Time for the SuperBowl: Stratasys Shows Off Their Stuff with New 3D Printed Football

StratasysLogoWithTagline_CMYKIt’s that time of the year again, and one has to consider which has become bigger—the SuperBowl—or the amazing marketing surrounding it? For sure, we get a big dose of football, but also an opportunity to learn about a lot of big new products that are arriving on the scene. And as everyone gets in on the frenzy of the biggest game of the year, Stratasys was not to be topped, producing a multi-material 3D printed football.

Objet500 Connex3 Coloro Multi-material 3D Printer

Objet500 Connex3 Coloro Multi-material 3D Printer

As the Patriots meet the SeaHawks on the field, TVs will be running overtime all over the country and world, with the crowds hoisting beers and raising arms in cheering as their teams score and hopefully, triumph. By next year though, there just may be a team of kids out on the lawn playing ball, and tossing around their very own 3D printed footballs, courtesy of Stratasys. And while I don’t think their marketing video is hitting the leagues of the SuperBowl (not this year, anyway), it’s important, and interesting, to get a look at what is most likely the world’s first 3D printed football.

Manufactured on an Objet500 Connex3 3D printer, Stratasys gave their multi-material machine a good chance to show off its stuff, using three different materials, with the rubber-like TangoPlus, VeroMagenta, and VeroYellow—all for the one football. With the incredible versatility and choices of material available with the Objet500 Connex3, Stratasys was able to use textures and materials so that their 3D printed football feels and looks almost identical to the traditional pigskin.

super-bowl-3d-printed-footballUsing triple jet technology, the Objet500 Connex3 3D printer is receiving more and more acclaim due to its ability to print large parts or multiple parts all in one job, as well as integrating multiple materials. It has amazing color capabilities and can create three-component digital materials, with over 1000 materials and resins to choose from. Fine details and smooth surfaces are promised, and the 3D printed football is a nice example of what it can do not just as a novelty item for the SuperBowl, but as another 3D printed item they can offer to the sports world.

Stratasys has already worked with a multitude of sports enthusiasts, teams, and companies, and we’ve followed along, writing a number of stories on their successes and interesting projects regarding 3D printing in areas like kite surfing where they were able to help university students 3D print custom parts to help them in an extreme challenge involving the elements of wind and sea.

Being able to use 3D printing in sports is one more area where access to streamlined design and customization mean that athletes and athletics companies can bring new and exciting products to the industry and marketplace faster, and with more input from the individuals actually using the products likes skis, motocross bicycles, or fencing equipment—all items which Stratasys has worked in developing different pieces for with the technology of 3D printing.

Have you seen any 3D printed items for sports? What do you think or the impact 3D printing can have in the sports arena? Tell us your thoughts in the Stratasys 3D Printed Football forum over at 3DPB.com, and what the heck, let us know who you are cheering for in this year’s Super Bowl.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUBceawRioQ]

SUMMARY: Stratasys is in the spirit of the New Year and the height of football season, as the SuperBowl looms, and fans are getting excited. With the Objet500 Connex3, Stratasys is showing what the multi-material 3D printer is capable of with the use of three different materials– TangoPlus, VeroMagenta, and VeroYellow. This is not Stratasys’ first foray into the world of sports, as they have also 3D printed parts for kiteboards, bikes, skis, and have even made 3D printed fencing equipment.  Additional information on this awesome 3D printed football can be found here:  http://3dprint.com/40326/superbowl-3d-print-football/

Below is a picture of the ball:

http://3dprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/super-bowl-3d-printed-football.jpg

3D Printed Jewelry Shows There is no Divide Between Science And Art

chromosome-earringsScience has long been a source of inspiration for art. Though some believe there is a sharp divide between art and science, both historical and present practice belie the existence of such a division. From the macro to the micro scale, the world is filled with inspiring natural occurrences; whether in mountainous cumulus clouds or in the voronoi patterns found in cell structures. The beauty of fractals and a variety of patterns created by what are known as “strange attractors” have inspired everything from textiles to garden design.

Now, a research scientist and a 3D artist and illustrator are pairing up to create jewelry designs that build upon their fascination with science and are helping them to invest in making science education more widely accessible. Idoya Lahortiga, the scientist and self-professed jill-of-all-trades, and designer Luk Cox, formerly a research scientist himself, have launched a jewelry line through Somersault18:24 with the idea that, “beautiful, smart, engaging, and sexy is not an impossible combination.”

This pair brings two PhDs in biomedical science and a creative vision that just won’t quit, to the creation of pendants and earrings in the images of phylogenetic trees, neurons, and pi among other designs. All of the jewelry is 3D printed in silver through Shapeways and the profits go to fund a platform that provides visuals to aid in science education.

astrocyte-pendantThe platform is a pay as you can resource that asks only that people be honest with themselves about the value of the resource and their abilities to contribute in relation to their usage. The duo’s philosophy is fantastically altruistic and you would have to be heartless to not find their enthusiasm and generosity moving. Their vision is shared on their site and aligns closely with the open source movement that has been such a strong influence in the 3D design community:

“We firmly believe that science education and communication are crucial for the advancement of science. Tools and resources that facilitate this process should be as free as possible, easily accessible, and easy to share and spread. We know that this platform can only continue to exist, grow, and ultimately excel if you, the user, step up, support, honor, and trust the system. We’ve created these resources for everybody, regardless of your financial situation. If you can’t afford it, take it now. If you love it, chip in later when you can.”

phylogenetic-tree-pendantThey are currently working on adding even more material to their resource library in the form of a collection of major cell signaling pathways designed by Sandro Fedini and a second part to their already available library of science and medical illustrations.

Their most recent pair of releases are modeled by Idoya in a video on their site, a pair of chromosome earrings and a bacteriophage pendant. The chromosomes featured large in Idoya’s dissertation and she speaks of them with a fondness usually reserved for people’s conversations about a beloved pet. You might be surprised at the mechanical look of the bacteriophage, and that would be exactly what they are hoping for because chances are, after you see the necklace, you will not be able to resist learning more about these strange little creatures. Also part of the collection is a beautiful neuron pendants whose sensuous curves and asymmetrical form are captivating.

3D Printing Expo Shows an Industry Focused on Innovation

NEWS ANALYSIS: 3D printing offers significant business benefits, say its enthusiasts, but also the potential to create a generation of deeper thinkers.

NEW YORK—The Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo at the Javits Center here from April 2 to 4 offered a reminder that 3D printing is intended to change the world.On display were 3D printers for every type of user, budget and intention. Printed items ranged from a bicycle to a drum kit, a small city made of sandstone, a dragon, the heels of shoes (athletic to 4-inch heels), jewelry, countless trinkets (bunnies, robots, a 5-inch replica of Brazil’s “Cristo Redentor”) and a super-hero suit.Try as I did, I couldn’t find a baker or confectionist offering printed edibles, though I was happy to receive a small, light clip designed to keep my earbuds from tangling in my purse. It uses a tiny safety pin as a hinge and does the job perfectly.The clip was created by Steve Kurti, the chief executive maker at Table Top Inventing, who during his session, “Educating Makers: The First Step to Revolutionary Change,” highlighted what’s arguably the most exciting and world-changing thing about 3D printing: It can change the way the next generation learns, thinks and approaches the world.

Kurti opened his talk with a question: What do 3D printing, the Mars Rover and vegan strawberry shortcake have in common?

Answer: None of these things sprang from someone’s mind fully formed. They involved multistep processes that people needed to think through.”Creamy icing without dairy products? You need to think that through,” said Kurti. “It takes experimentation.”And in nearly every instance, the first version is never a winner. The earbuds clip he gave out? “Version seven.”

Kurti gives talks to educators—the most effective way to reach lots of teenagers—about the need for young people to ask deeper questions.Surface questions lead to deeper questions, which lead to core issues and then the central issue, “that thing at the center that if you take care of it, the problem goes away,” said Kurti.Isaac Newton asked a question (Why did the apple fall from the tree?); later, Albert Einstein asked a deeper question (What is it that makes two things with mass attract?) that got closer to the core issue.”We believe you can inspire deeper questions through the maker process,” said Kurti. “Maker education is a hands-on philosophy of learning, in which physically building solutions leads to deeper thinking.”Gabrielle Rangel, associate CTO of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said during his session, “Inspiring the Next Generation of Space Explorers by Using Augmented Reality, 3D Printing and 3D Scanning,” that the “next generation of space explorers are kids that grew up playing video games. We’re demonstrating how today’s toys can become tomorrow’s tools.”