Jan 28, 2015 | By Simon

Despite the recent news regarding the New England Patriot American football team possibly deflating their footballs during their last game leading up to the Super Bowl on Sunday (an illegal tactic that makes the balls easier to throw), which they won, there is some better news for fans of both 3D printing and American Football.

Stratasys announced yesterday that as a part of their #3DPrintedSports marketing campaign for showing off the capabilities of their 3D printers, they have successfully 3D printed what they believe might be the World's First 3D Printed Football.

Printed on the popular Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-Material 3D Production System, the football was 3D printed using three materials on the multi-material and multi-colored machine: Rubber-like (TangoPlus), Rigid Magenta (VeroMagenta), and Rigid Yellow (VeroYellow)...all in a single 3D print job.

In order to make the 3D printed footballs feel like the real thing, the designers at Stratasys incorporated the same bumpy and authentic textures that are found on traditional cowhide and vulcanized rubber footballs used in both recreation football as well as professional football. The final 3D printed football design weighs about the same as the heavier "weighted" warm-up football used by quarterbacks to help train their throwing arm.

This isn't the first sport that Stratasys has had their hand in making sports better.

Previously, the 3D printing behemoth has worked on creating a 3D printed baseball bat design out of ABS plastic using the same Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-Material 3D Production System that the more recent football was created on. Unlike a football - which is primarily just thrown from hand to hand - the baseball bat provided a true test for 3D printing sporting goods. To test the rigidity of the bat's Digital ABS Material, the Stratays team tested the 3D printed bat against a variety of objects to see if it would break...which it didn't.

The Stratasys team has also created a variety of other sporting goods products ranging from those for kite surfing and snowboarding to fencing and even a sensor-based concussion detector for football players that was created through a collaboration with the University of Texas.

If one thing is for certain, whoever gets to bring the 3D printed football to a Super Bowl party on Sunday is going to be very popular. Perhaps they could also make a 3D printed football bean dip bowl to seal the deal?



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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manko wrote at 1/29/2015 6:44:25 AM:

needs air

manxian wrote at 1/29/2015 12:08:23 AM:

my only question is can it be deflated?

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