3D printing brings amazing photo-realistic NCAA stadium replicas to life
Some fans visit their beloved NCAA stadium and leave with a little—unauthorized, mind you—piece of it (a hedge clipping from Georgia’s Sanford Stadium, for example), but a South Carolina company has the NCAA license to 3D print fans all the stadium replicas they can handle.
ZVerse uses 3D printing—additive manufacturing—to create photo-detailed replicas of about 30 NCAA football stadiums, adding more all the time.
Kevin Maloney, co-founder, tells Extra Mustard, the company’s first foray into stadium replication was in late 2013 when they created a replica of South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium for the school to hand out to honorees during a Military Appreciation Game. Williams-Brice was the start, but now ZVerse has 30 licenses and produces 150 stadiums a week at its Columbia, South Carolina, plant.
Using sandstone, the 3D printer creates layer upon layer to build the replicas, each layer receiving its own mix of color. It takes less than a week for the company to design a new stadium—ZVerse continually makes adjustments, for example tweaking Williams-Brice the same day South Carolina added a Steve Spurrier banner on the outside of their venue—and each replica gets printed overnight.
“As stadiums evolve, using our unique model with design and 3D printing, we evolve with them,” Maloney says.
When Baylor opened McLane Stadium, ZVerse was there with 80 replicas as part of a school giveaway. Mississippi State’s celebration of 100 years of Davis Wade Stadium includes ZVerse.
While LSU, Clemson and Georgia have been the top-sellers over the roughly seven months of ZVerse having multiple venues to choose from, the recent launch Baylor’s new digs and ZVerse now offering a Notre Dame replica has McLane Stadium and Notre Dame Stadium leading the way for the company, Maloney says.
Plus, a colorized sandstone replica will last a lot longer than an old piece of dead English privet hedge from the grounds of Athens, Ga.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.