3D Printing

3D Printing Dolphins for the Miami Dolphins’ Record-breaking Foosball Table

Branding is big business — particularly in the Western world. Once company that understands how to maximize a brand is Britten Studios, based in Michigan in the US. Working with some of the world’s largest brands over the last 30+ years, the company has a knack of visually connecting client brands with their audience. And nowhere has that been in more evidence than in a recent project for the Miami Dolphins football team and 3D printing played a key role bringing the project to life.

When Britten Studios first secured the bid to engineer props for the Miami Dolphins’ pre-game Fin Fest, the print company knew it would require some serious brainpower to deliver on the amazing 3D renderings they submitted. Dominant among these was a 25-ft custom foosball table.

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No strangers to innovation, the print company turned to its Décor Department in Grand Rapids, Michigan to bring the wow factor to the event’s pièce de résistance — a foosball table that accommodates up to 50 players.

Dolphins 3d printied fooseball 3d printing industryThe mammoth table game — dubbed “the longest foosball table in Florida” — is lined with cup holders, and features pigskin-textured handles (complete with hand-stitched lacing), but it needed strong branding in the form of the “players” on the table. This is 3D print came into its own, enabling the team to print each of the dolphin players in the team’s aqua and orange colour scheme.

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Scott Sarber, Direct of Designer Services at Britten Studios, noted one of the biggest challenges was “creating [3D printed] dolphin players that could really take a beating!” For non-foosball players, “beating” is putting it mildly, it is very easy to get carried away and pound those things.

Dolphins 3d printed fooseball sideThis resulted in some serious functional testing, whereby Scott says the whole design team “had to do a fair amount of engineering [and] testing before we finally created a model that could be 3D printed tough enough to handle the punishment! We printed several prototypes, installed them on a foosball table, played our asses off, and broke them before we finally created the finished product.” All of the dolphins were 3D printed on a MakerBot platform, and the results look really impressive, particularly in-situ.

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Miami-Dolphins-Golfin-Carts 3d printing industryThe foosball table, 3D printed dolphins and all, was unveiled last week, along with a fleet of ‘Fin Carts’ — 12-foot tall, mobile carts in the shape of fins — that feature powerful music systems, PAs, and a t-shirt cannon.


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