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3D Printing Metal with Filamet, the MVP for Kent State University

by • July 29, 2016 • No Comments


Created of an new material, a special 3D printed object can soon take pride of place in the home of a prize-winning athlete. The Virtual Foundry, a 3D printing material createer, are working in partnership with Kent State University Athletics and the Coast Guard Aviation Association (CGAA) to create a one-of-a-kind object; a 3D printed trophy.

As not long ago reported by 3DPI The Virtual Foundry manufactures a range of feedstock for the many widely utilized 3D printing system, extrusion or FFF. The Filamet™ range is on the market as either an ABS or PLA filament and is infutilized with a choice of either bronze or copper metal.

3D Printing a treasured item

Motorsport added the thought of 3D printed trophies in 2010 when the Italian architect Antonio Pio Saracino created prizes for the Sachsenring Moto GP and Formula One racing’s Grand Prix in Hungary. But unlike the Filamet™ trophy, these trophies were created via the generally many expensive SLS type of 3D printing. Furthermore, the 3D printed trophies were separately lacquered, or painted, with gold, silver or bronze. The new material sold by The Virtual Foundry requires no such treatment.

Kent State University (KSU) must be fairly impressed with The Virtual Factory material for the reason this particular trophy is held in incredibly high regard and carries the name of a KSU icon. Named after one of the university’s sporting heroes, Jack Rittichier, the 3D printed trophy is destined for the Most Valued Player (MVP). Rittichier was a KSU student in the fifties
and was captain of not just the football team and the track athletics team but, in addition chair of the campus entertainment committee, known as the Pork Barrel.

Rittichier’s performance on the football field and especially his 1954 90-yard touchdown run which took the university into its initially bowl game is celebrated to this day. After graduation Rittichier served in the U.S Air Force where his bravery and determination saw him promoted to the rank of captain. He continued to demonstrate these qualities when he accepted a commission in the Coast Guard Reserve. Notably, Rittichier got several commendations during this time for flying search and rescue missions. “He was James Dean and Marlon Brando all in one package,” said his former team-mate Allan Kaupinen. “When he walked across campus, you noticed him.”


Honoring an iconic figure

Understandably, KSU want a trophy which honors this iconic figure and one which the MVP can be proud to win and display. The Virtual Foundry is sure their materials are the right choice. The Filamet™ range can be 3D printed to create objects which have the handsome appearance of metals, without the cost or technical challenge of older industrial systemes. An object fabricated in this manner can either be polished after printing, to add an attractive shine, or undergo heat treatment to additional improvements.

The Virtual Foundry say which by next their 4 step sintering system instructions users can manufacture 3D printed metal components which are 99.9% pure. This is for the reason sintering removes the residue binder and allows for a solid weight of metal to form. Sintering can in addition improve other qualities of 3D printed metals such as durablity and conductivity. The company’s Bradley Woods says this is the, “Holy Grail of 3d printing; Pure metal prints of existing PC printing hardware.”


Bringing metal 3D printing to a wider group

The Virtual Foundry wears their Maker credentials proudly. The Maker ethos inspired founder Glenn to not just create a metal infutilized filament suitable for PC printing equipment, but in addition to create a production system to boot. Drawing on his experience as a Certified Master Metalsmith and with an array of Arduino micro-controllers, Glenn created and created the one-of-a-kind machines which now create this novel 3D printing material.

The material is suitable for use with many FFF 3D printing equipment, or with a 3D pen if freehand crafting is required. The company plan to expand the Filamet™ range with a brass type product and and so probably a nickel-silver material.

Producing the Jack Rittichie KSU MVP trophy is another step along the way for Filamet™ towards delivering new materials to a wider group.



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