Fund Raising

As we approach the 5th anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, which saw three people die and more than 260 people injured, we take a look back at the batons we created for the relay races which raised funds for the victims of the horrific events.

Three 3D printed series of batons for huge fundraising races across the USA

As we approach the 5th anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, which saw three people die and more than 260 people injured, we take a look back at the batons we created for the relay races which raised funds for the victims of the horrific events. As a well-established 3D printing and model making company who have been producing high quality prototypes for over 46 years, we were approached to produce a series of batons due to our reputation for quality of product and service. After being approached, we were delighted to lend our services free of charge to such a worthy cause. Over the last few years, we have produced 3 series of batons for these relay races across America, set up to raise money for victims and their families. Our work on this includes:

1st series of the baton (One Run For Boston)

Three runners in England, horrified by the Boston Marathon bombings, wanted to do something positive. They organised a California to Massachusetts relay race to raise money for bombing victims. Starting on 7th June 2014 in the L.A. area, the relay reached Boston on 30th June and attracted more than 1000 runners and raised almost $50,000 for One Fund Boston. Like most of the world, organiser, Kate Treleaven from Devon was horrified upon seeing the coverage of the bombings, “When something like this happens, it doesn’t matter where you’re living — it just packs a hard punch. We thought how could something so awful happen to a group of people who were doing something so wonderful? It was a need to purge that hideousness and basically bring things back to a happier equilibrium. The three runners settled on dates and mapped out a route using Google Maps and MapMyRun. A friend in art school then designed an Olympic-style torch with a GPS tracking device so the public could follow the relay on the website. Our involvement saw us using 3D printing on a Stereolithography (SL) machine and undertake a full complement of processes from vacuum casted parts to silicon tools in order to produce the batons.

2nd series of baton (One Run for Boston 2)

Urged by the success of the first relay, the organisers staged another relay race to raise further funds. Taking in 300+ stages, the 3328 mile relay across the USA saw runners once again carry the baton from L.A. on the west coast to Boston on the east coast of America. Timed to finish one week before the start of the Boston Marathon and marking the 1st anniversary of the horrific event, the 2nd relay raised in excess of $450,000 for the victims of the bombing.

3rd series of baton (United Relay of America)

Taking place for a third time, the United Relay of America was the first ever ever triple coast-to-coast charity relay setting off from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles and meeting in New York City! Comprising of three routes from the west to the east coast of America, the relay involved hundreds of runners and cyclists, all with one aim: to inspire, empower and connect people across America – to not just be part of relay history, but to be united for a better world! One of the beneficiary charities was the We Are Here Movement, founded by Alicia Keys. Funds donated to the We Are Here Movement were split equally amongst the We Are Here charity partners, so fundraising efforts helped a wider range of causes than ever before!

The making of the batons

The batons were designed to emulate a lily, recognised a symbol of peace and remembrance. For each design of the baton, the initial stage was to 3D print via Stereolithography on one of our SLA5000 machines. The batons consisted of an assembly of a variety of components using different materials. Once the 3D prints were built, they were given to our highly skilled finishing department. To achieve the perfect finish, the finishing department started with removal of visible layers and then worked the surface of the model up to the point of the required level of finish, which was a perfect high gloss. The finished baton “masters” were to be used as patterns for our soft tooling process, silicone tooling. From these tools, a series of castings were produced, predominantly in an ABS durable material in gloss, some were translucent white and some clear and tinted. The 3rd series of the baton also consisted of elastomers, which gave a tactile grip. To give the baton a completed look, graphics were applied depicting the route and logos. All of the batons needed to be illuminated for night time running, whilst GPS trackers were fitted internally so at any point of the run, the sponsors could monitor their location from the website. For the internal components, unfinished 3D printed Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) parts were produced. Multiple batons were produced from silicone tooling for each stage of each race.
For the creation of all of the batons, we proudly donated our time and expertise free of charge.

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