When you hear someone talking about “football,” if you’re American you have a very different vision of what they’re discussing. An American’s “fantasy football team” looks nothing like, say, that of a fan in Chile or Burundi or Cambodia or Belgium — in short, most of the world outside of the United States. For most of the world, “football” means soccer and it’s the most popular sport in the world, played by 250 million players in over 150 countries.
The sport, in which you don’t see players decked out in thick padding and helmets, really is more about feet, as the spherical ball is generally moved by foot rather than by, as Americans call it, “passing” (that is, “throwing”) the ball. Football is fast-paced and exciting and fans are passionate about it.
Fans of one such team, the Austrian football team SK Sturm Graz, can now keep their favorite home team closer to home than ever with 3D printed miniatures of all of the Sturm Graz players. Thanks to Austrian 3D printing company LayerLab.net, the entire Sturm team has been replicated in miniature and in 3D.
LayerLab.net, says the company’s website, “is the 3D printing and 3D Full Body Scan service with the world’s first mobile 3D full body scanner,” which they developed. The company’s goal is to make high-quality 3D printing accessible to as many people as possible. That’s a pretty lofty goal, but they’ve chosen a pretty ingenious way of promoting 3D printing — by connecting with fans of the world’s most popular sport and their region’s most popular team, SK Sturm Graz.
SK Sturm Graz is based in Graz, the second largest city in Austria (with Vienna being the largest). “Sturm” actually means “storm” and the team has earned its name, as it has created a furor in the country, winning the Austrian Football Championship three times since 1998. Sturm Graz, whose team colors are black and white, has a huge fan base in their home state of Styria in southeast Austria and in the country overall.
LayerLab.net wanted to promote its 3D printing services, including 3D printed selfies, so they decided to give the public a sense of what’s involved with the process by making fantastic 3D printed miniatures of the Sturm team using LayerLab.net’s impressively mobile technology. Each of the 28 team members was full-body-scanned twice — once in a standing position and once in a squatting position. Of course, they were all wearing the distinctive black-and-white home game jerseys, so the full-color, 3D printed miniatures are quite striking. Also, since the players were captured in those poses, fans who collect the miniatures can create their own formations — their fantasy formations, if you will.
The 3D-printed SK Sturm Graz figurines produced by LayerLab.net are available in three different sizes (and scales). The largest figurines are 18 cm (around 7”) tall. They are also available in 15 cm (not quite 6”) and 12 cm (about 4.5”). Fans can buy figurines of individuals or they can buy the whole squad in the Sturm Graz fan shop or online from LayerLab.net.
LayerLab.net is also betting that football fans who see the amazing things the company can do with 3D full-body scanning and full-color 3D printing will be inspired to have themselves represented in miniature. LayerLab.net’s technical director, Christof Kirschner, explained the body scan process:
“We create means photogrammetry in our mobile ellipsoidal 3D avatar station within fractions of a second a complete body scan. Therefore, no motionless persistence is necessary, it may also include children or pets are scanned and it is also possible, motions to hold.”
After the 2D photographs are produced, they are processed using special software to create, detailed, 3D models and ultimately 3D printed on high-definition printers. The results are impressive, almost “photo-realistic” miniature images of the subjects.
In addition to being a great way to support your favorite team — in this case, the Sturm Graz squad — getting a 3D printed miniature of yourself (a selfie, of course) is pretty gratifying in itself. 3D miniature portraits are also ideal Christmas gifts. Check with LayerLab.net for prices, availability of services where you live, and delivery time just before Christmas. As we’ve been seeing more and more across the globe, 3D printed selfies are pretty popular for just about any occasion.