Imagine your own engraved AFL premiership cup.
A laser cut membership card. Or a goal-kicking Buddy Franklin figurine.
Those are all options now that the country’s biggest football code has signed up for a 3D printer merchandise deal.
The AFL will make its mark next season with 3D-printer created merchandise and branding after securing a partnership with printer company 333D.
The Victorian-based technology company, which was acquired by Oz Brewing Limited in January, won the licence agreement for the football code after approaching the league.
“It shows great foresight and progressiveness from the people at the AFL in embracing this new technology and the possibilities that it does lead us into,” 333D managing director Frank Pertile told AAP.
“We see it as a genuine opportunity to develop some really unique and exclusive 3D printable content.”
The company will work with the AFL’s marketing team in the off-season to develop a line of products, which could range from player action figures to medallions and coins.
333D has licence to design and create content for every aspect of the game including players, coaches, clubs and marquee games.
“There are 18 football clubs all with unique logos and colours, mascots and all sorts of things so we can develop content around those assets,” Mr Pertile told AAP.
“We haven’t nailed anything down at the moment but it’s just a question of sitting down with the AFL and marketing to develop a roll-out program for the next 12 months and see what we can come up with.”
He told AAP that the speed, detail and cost efficiency afforded by 3D printers blew open the possibilities for the sport’s merchandising.
Ideas in the works include customised memorabilia around occasions like players’ anniversaries, finals season or marquee games which could have a limited run.
“With the technology, there’s no enormous lead time, you can develop things on short notice and you don’t have to manufacture things to mass volume to justify spend.
“We can print in polymer plastic, print in nylon, we can print things in titanium and we are in the process of doing all of that now.”
The company manufactures its own printers in Melbourne and offers printing services in a number of fields including medical, defence, automotive and aerospace industries.
It’s believed this is the first agreement of its type in the Australian sporting arena.