It’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.
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.
Using 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.
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: