“The fire that burns brightest in the Raiders organization is the will to win.”
Two years after the inauguration of the massive 3D-printed ‘torch’ built in the center of NFL stadium, the Las Vegas Raiders football team continues to commemorate their late owner Al Davis. The architectural centerpiece in the new Las Vegas stadium is a daily reminder of the varied capacities in which Al Davis has served pro football.
He served as a player personnel assistant, an assistant coach, a head coach, a general manager, a league commissioner and the principal owner and chief executive officer of an NFL team.
If we bring back the topic to the table today, it’s only because as time is going by, we are learning more about the technical capabilities that made this larger-than-life tribute possible. As a reminder, the 3D printed structure is made up of 225 3D printed blocks fabricated with carbon fiber-reinforced polycarbonate (PC), each weighing about 350 pounds (159 Kg).
Overland Park, Kan.-based Dimensional Innovations (DI) designed and 3D printed the structure. DI said a team of 18 employees invested more than 50,000 hours in developing, creating, and installing the structure, and the firm printed the PC blocks nearly continuously for more than seven months. Based on the 93-foot structure’s unique shape and precision requirements, DI purchased a Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) machine from Dale, Indiana-based Thermwood Corporation.
Ken Susnjara, CEO of Thermwood Corp., says, “This amazing project required the collaborative effort of the pioneering leaders in large-scale additive manufacturing technology. Techmer PM worked closely with Thermwood to develop the advanced technology needed to complete a project of this magnitude. Their material, and its ability to process flawlessly through our LSAM system, was a critical component to successfully completing what looks to be the tallest 3D printed structure in the world.”
Clinton, Tenn.-based Techmer PM, formulated and supplied 120,000 pounds of Electrafil®, the carbon fiber-filled PC material. “This product has great mechanical properties, printability, coefficient of thermal expansion, and meets ASTM E84 class A rating,” noted Anthony Fiorini, Techmer PM’s Business Development Manager – 3D Printing. “We designed this material to achieve flawless print quality and to hold tight tolerances. PC offers good dimensional stability while the carbon fiber reinforcement helps control shrink, warp, and coefficient of thermal expansion in such large parts.”
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