AMS Spring 2023

Fantasy Football Meets 3D Printing with These Amazing 3D Printed Trophies

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fftrophyfeaturedIn the past ten years, we have seen an obscure game called fantasy football go from being a game that was considered to be “nerdy” to one which has perhaps become America’s new pastime. When I was growing up, Major League Baseball was considered to be this country’s pastime. In the last decade to decade and a half, NFL pretty much made its claim to fame in that category, and now a game based off of the NFL, but played by the fans, may have become the pastime of all pastimes.

Fantasy football is oftentimes played competitively in a way where money is wagered against friends and colleagues, with the winner taking all. Other times it is just played for bragging rights, and no money actually changes hands. Either way, it seems as though each and every football season there are more and more people playing this popular game.

For one fantasy football player named Andrew Cross, he wanted to do something special for the fantasy football league of which he had recently become commissioner. He knew that he wanted to award trophies to the league champion as well as the person who accrued the most “side game” wins. However, he found that the trophies available for sale on the internet were very expensive, and simply not very impressive looking at all. So, using his 3D modeling abilities, he decided to design his very own trophies and then 3D print them for the winners. To get started, Cross begin with SolidWorks, a modeling software that he is quite familiar with.

“I’ll admit I spen[t] longer than I should have, figuring out the best way to duplicate a Vince Lombardi trophy for the league champion award,” explained Cross.

fftrophy4He began with the football that would sit on top of his championship trophy, and he wanted to ensure that it looked like the real thing. Once he had the football looking just the way he wanted, he moved on to the base of the first trophy. Then he fit them together, trimmed away a little bit of the base the football would sit on, and then connected them together. As for the second trophy, it was a “cup,” not nearly the size of the first trophy, but then again it was wasn’t created for the league champion.

Once both trophies had been designed, it was off to 3D printing them on Cross’ MakerBot 3D printer. The smaller “cup” trophy printed out quite easily, as Cross had designed it so it would not need to print with any support material. However, the championship trophy was a different story. It took him several tries to get it to print correctly, and he will tell you that he still isn’t entirely satisfied with the last version he printed, but it did turn out looking very nice.

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Once the 3D printing was complete, it was on to post processing and finishing his new trophies. Cross had finished 3D printed objects before, but never anything quite as large as these. The championship trophy alone measured 8 inches tall.

fftrophy2After cleaning the trophies up a bit with sandpaper and an X-ACTO knife, Cross sprayed them with a coat of primer. This was followed by three coatings of silver Krylon ColorMaster spray paint and then two coats of clear glaze.

“I was pleasantly surprised at how they turned out,” said Cross. “The only thing I would have done differently is that I should have used acrylic and a brush to get some grey coloring between the base ‘blades’ on the smaller trophy. If you look intently enough, you can still see exposed green plastic. Finally, I cut and glued black felt to the bases.”

As you can see in the photos, both trophies came out extraordinarily well, and nice enough to satisfy any fantasy football league champion. What do you think of Cross’ 3D printed trophies? Would you have designed them any differently? Discuss in the 3D printed fantasy football trophy forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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