New Player for the Soccer World Cup 2010: LZH Develops “Mini-Ronaldo”

The world’s smallest TIPP-KICK player is only 6.8 mm tall. The rod through player’s head, which triggers the kicking mechanism, is as thin as a human hair.

In due time for the soccer World Cup in South Africa in 2010, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the company TIPP-KICK are preparing for an exciting “mini event”: the world’s smallest functional TIPP-KICK player. The first developmental step has already taken place, and the LZH produced a game figure that is only 6.8 mm tall. However, the micro-player is not yet able to kick a ball. 

Now engineers at the LZH are working on giving the player full functionality. Project partner Trimetric GmbH, Garbsen (Germany), first took a digital image of the original game figure. The image data served as the basis for the mini figure, which was made in 340 layers of a liquid polymer which was hardened by a laser. Each layer is only 0.02 mm thick.
“Miniaturization of the mechanical parts is quite tricky," says Ulrich Klug of the LZH, "since the figure is produced in one step, in a ready-to-play condition, We haven't been able to send this player out on the playing field, because moving parts of the “Mini-Ronaldo” are still too fragile for the rough competition using tweezers,” Klug adds winking. "The technical parts of the player show which challenges we are facing when building up parts layer by layer. This is especially true when making real micro-components for applications in biomedical-technology, micro-fluidics or micro-system technology. Usually the whole new design of a micro-part is necessary. Not too many people know what possibilities micro-stereolithography has, and we are trying to make this visible with the micro-TIPP-KICK player."
In order to solve this problem, the LZH has brought another competent partner on board. The phoenix GmbH & Co.KG in Munich is working on a completely new mechanical design of the kicking leg for the micro-player. The next stages of development will show whether this new layer-by-layer concept can be miniaturized.
When all the minute parts work together, “Mini-Ronaldo” can start working on winning the title as top scorer. The fully functional kicker will be presented at the Hannover Fair 2010. His original sized "big brother" (6.8 cm) with the new shooting mechanism created by phoenix might even be presented at the Euromold fair in December. Additional partners are RAPIDFORM, EMEA and SHAKE GmbH SHR.
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Business Development & Communications Department
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Michael Botts
Public Relations
Tel.: +49 511 2788-151
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The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) carries out research and development in the field of laser technology and is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport of the State of Lower Saxony (Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Verkehr).