A Tale of Two FIFA Fans: Shared Passion for Football and 3d Printing

Creality sonic pad

Karl and Phil are two 3d printing enthusiasts living in the UK who also share another hobby – football. Creality talks to them to find out how advanced technology and established sport inspire people in a similar way.    

Karl spent most of his childhood and teenage years in Germany. As a British youngster who was just picking up German at that time, playing football with kids in the neighborhood was simply an activity beyond any language barrier.

“My German was dreadful when I was like 12, 13. I didn't have to speak any German because it was football that I was playing,” said Karl. He started to learn German, and the other kids on the team did their best with their broken English.

It was a time when grassroots football rose around the world, especially after France won the world cup in 1998. In Karl’s memory, there was a massive cry for help in grassroots football in the UK, as France was educating young boys and girls about going on diets and keeping fit, which expanded the talent pool of national football players.

Now, a father of four, Karl is a community football coach for kids under 12, passing on his knowledge of football to his children and other kids in the community. What he is also sharing with the younger generation is his passion for 3d printing. As the administrator of online community “Under The Hotend Group”, he sees many things in common between football and 3d printing. With the support of community members around the world, one can pick up and enjoy 3d printing quickly, and most importantly, get friends worldwide who share the same passion without language barriers.

Phil, a scientist in a global healthcare company, joined the world of 3d printing for his interest in machinery and creating things. He and Karl became friends in Creality Official User Group, where they share their works, answer questions from community members, and post their reviews of 3d printers and accessories. He is also a YouTube reviewer at 3DPUK, where he creates videos of new machines, unboxings, builds and reviews of 3d printers to make 3d printing more comprehensible to the public and help buyers make informed purchase decisions.

“The 3d printing community is very much like the team sports football. The ultimate goal is to get the best print, the best quality from your printer.” said Phil. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and the community is there for you.

“We all want that goal. We all want that win. How are you gonna get there? We're gonna have to work together. But ultimately, the person who scores the goal is the one that gets to celebrate his name on the score sheet…it's a bit like 3d printing.”

Passing the torch

To Karl, spending time with his children on 3d printing is an achievement similar to scoring a goal in football. “I love when my kids come home and go: Can we make this? My teacher was talking about ancient Greece. We go online, we find something, and we print it. I love being able to do that with them,” said Karl. “We don't sit there and watch the print for 26 hours, but I know that I've spent quality time with my kids instead of just throwing an iPad and let them go watch YouTube.”

“Nowadays, parents just don't have time and it's such a stressful environment,” added Phil. “And the way to keep your children quiet is to put maybe a phone or a tablet in front of them. We can do something different and inspire people and put them towards 3d printing. Then the goal is really to share that technology, because it's just as fun to actually use the computer that we're trying to encourage them to use and create a file, talk to people about how to do it, and then make it and print it.”

As for Phil, the time when he received thank you messages from other 3d printer users he helped was quite a moment. “When someone messages me back and says: Thank you so much. I was gonna send my 3d printer back because I spent weeks trying to fix an issue. And you've helped with just a simple fix.”

“If there are ten people you messaged, and at least one of them does exactly what you've done, they've passed on their knowledge, and it's the same as football,” added Karl. “I'm teaching the next generation to play. If one player in my 16-player team becomes a coach, I've done my bit.”

Sharing for a cause

Apart from the knowledge sharing among 3d printing lovers, the manufacturer’s impact on the community is obvious as well. “Like Creality Sonic Pad, it has a massive impact in the community, because it brings out Klipper firmware as standard on 3d printers,” said Karl. “If I can print something in 10 hours instead of 24, my wife is happy.”

“You might have your favourite printer. You don't have to go out and buy a brand-new printer…by having the Creality Sonic Pad, you can then connect it to your favourite printer and make it three or four times faster,” Phil agreed.

Thanks to the product reviews shared in the 3d printing community, the products are known to more people, and the feedback is collected by manufacturers which will motivate them to serve the community better.

From Karl’s view, after learning how to 3d print, he was able to bring much more to people around him, and the impact is beyond the 3d printing community. He told Creality that he put a post on Facebook selling 3d printed Christmas baubles with family photos attached, which got popular among people who lost their loved ones in the past years.

“I've had an impact on someone who doesn't print. They've got no idea what a 3d printer is, but they know that I can print for them and give them the picture of their loved ones. It's so important and valuable,” said Karl.

Speaking of future plans, Phil said he would continue his message through his YouTube channel. “It's not just a privilege to be out to show things and have the opportunity to review them, but to know that the impact I might be having on somebody else, whether it be a youngster joining into this technology or someone who needs something to do after retirement…I am gonna make sure that my message now will be to inspire other people to go out and share with the community, and take the risk to enjoy 3d printing.”

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A Tale of Two FIFA Fans: Shared Passion for Football and 3d Printing

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