3D Printing the Rugby World Cup
Canon, the Rugby World Cup’s official sponsor, promotes 3D printing reproducing the Webb Ellis Cup.
During these weeks in England, it is only a speaking about Rugby. Inside the pubs the Rugby World Cup is the main topic and the challenge will be played at home because of the searing early elimination from the tournament (even after a defeat with Wales’s cousins). In such a seemingly low-tech context 3D printing has carved out its small role.
Canon is the official sponsor of the Rugby World Cup and just recently (February 2015) has entered into the world of 3D printing in England, by teaming up with the “giant” of this industry 3D Systems. For advertisement purposes and with the help of stereolithography technologies it manufactured an ‘incredible reproduction of the World Cup, the Webb Ellis Cup.
William Webb Ellis (from which the name of the trophy) was an English clergyman who, according to legend, was the creator of the game of rugby as we know it. It happened during a match of a sport similar to football, played in the English town of Rugby.
The cup has been scanned with a professional 3D scanner in order to obtain a three-dimensional (3D) file. The 3D printer creates the cup using the 3D Systems’ SLA technology, distributed in Italy by 3DZ, to get a product with an extremely high quality and precision. This replication has been then finished through a gold galvanisation.
The entire process will be clear watching the video attached here, where it is possible to see the trophy that, after a first scanning step, comes out from a bath of liquid resin. This process, called precisely “stereolithography”, is based on the photopolymerization of this resin, that is responsive to the ultraviolet radiation emitted by a sophisticated laser beam able to track ultra-precise shapes.
Although England may not raise the Webb Ellis Cup, this can be still considered a fine demonstration from Canon of how great the potential of 3D printing and 3D scanning technologies is.