Las Vegas Raiders honours Al Davis with massive 3D-Printed Torch
The Las Vegas Raiders football team had a tall order to fill. They wanted to commemorate their late owner Al Davis by creating a stunning architectural centrepiece in their new Las Vegas stadium.
Their solution: Quite possibly the world’s tallest 3D-printed structure. It is a striking, nine-story-high “memorial torch” constructed of 225 3D-printed blocks made of carbon fibre-reinforced polycarbonate (PC), each weighing about 350 pounds. Inscribed high on the structure is a quote from their former owner, proclaiming: “The fire that burns brightest in the Raiders organization is the will to win.”
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.
Thermwood recommended Techmer PM as a materials partner. 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, Tennessee based Techmer PM, formulated and supplied 120,000 pounds of Electrafil®, the carbon fibre-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 fibre reinforcement helps control shrink, warp, and coefficient of thermal expansion in such large parts.”
“When undertaking a project of this size and magnitude,” explained Justin Wood, DI’s Sports Practice Director, “we needed a partner who understood the development process as well as the manufacturing technology as a whole. That’s precisely what we received with Techmer PM. They supported us during the ideation phase for the Al Davis Memorial Torch and ultimately supplied the key material for a structure that is truly larger than life.”
This collaboration between DI, Thermwood, and Techmer helped deliver an amazing tribute to the Raiders’ Al Davis, ensuring that his legacy lives on in style.