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This Year’s Kent State University MVP Will Be Presented with a Bronze Trophy 3D Printed with Filamet

by • August 2, 2016 • No Comments

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Jack Rittichier (L) preceding his deployment to Vietnam. [Image: US Coast Guard]

I understand many graduates of Kent State University, as several of my friends and family participants have attended over the years, but one of the school’s many famous graduates is Coast Guard hero Jack Rittichier, who was a star football player and team captain during his days at Kent. After he graduated in 1956, he went on to a long career in the Air Force and Coast Guard, where he won several medals which include the Purple Heart, Silver Star and Vietnam Service Medal, one of many others. He was killed in action in 1968, and his name lives on at KSU in the form of the Lt. Jack Rittichier Trophy, which has been presented to the KSU football team’s MVP each year since 2009.

As a football player, Rittichier is most understandn for an amazing 90-yard touchdown run in the final minutes of KSU’s homecoming game against Bowling Green State University on October 30, 1954. The touchdown won the game and sent the KSU football team to their initially bowl game, the 1954 Refrigerator Bowl. Decades later, a photograph of Rittichier’s touchdown run was given to Rhode Island-based artist Ann Rozhon, who utilized it to turn it into a bronze sculpture entitled “Jack’s Run.”

In 2014, the sculpture was 3D scanned at the Coast Guard Academy and the file was transmitted to the Paul King Foundry, where it was 3D printed and utilized to cast a miniature bronze option, which became the new trophy to be given to the KSU football team’s MVP. This year, yet, the MVP can be given a various kind of trophy – one which has been fully 3D printed.

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2014 KSU MVP Casey Pierce is presented with the Rittichier Award by Coast Guard Commander Marshall Branch. [Image: Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Yaw, US Coast Guard]

It won’t be the initially 3D printed trophy to be awarded to an athlete; the initially ones were added in 2010 by Motorsport. Earlier this year, high school students created a 3D printed trophy for the world champion Kansas City Royals, and 3D printed trophies were awarded to last year’s Hockey World League Champions. Unlike those trophies, yet, the newest Lt. Jack Rittichier Trophy can be directly printed in bronze via the Virtual Foundry’s not long ago added metal filament, Filamet.

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This bronze owl was printed in Filamet on a Printrbot Simple.

Filamet’s release cautilized really a stir as it’s the closest we’ve gotten so far to an entirely metal filament for computer desktop 3D printing. Made of 88% metal powder and 12% plastic, the metal content of printed objects can be upped to just about 100% by baking them in a kiln and enabling the plastic to burn away. Unlike the original Motorsport trophies, which were printed with expensive SLS innovation and later painted or lacquered in gold, silver or bronze, the Rittichier Trophy can be printed with a standard FDM computer desktop 3D printing device and polished to allow the effortless bronze to shine.

Since Filamet’s release, it has been snapped up by high-profile consumers of Calvin Klein to the US Department of Energy. Now the Virtual Foundry is looking to focus on introducing the material to home users and makers, reflecting the young company’s maker origins. According to founder Bradley Woods, actually the company’s production equipment was maker-built.

“It’s all regulated by a variety of Arduino’s and PICs,” said Woods. “By now we’ve replaced a few of our equipment with industrial grade gear, but at one point all of our system equipment was home-built.”

In my opinion, a college football trophy is a rather great way to feature a material to the general public – particularly a trophy which honors a hero of both sports and war. Discuss additional in the 3D Printed Trophy forum over at 3DPB.com.