Reverse Engineering & 3D Printing "Spirit of America" Awards

Rapid Prototyping Services for Inspired Bronze

The Problem:

Inspired Bronze is a fine art bronze casting foundry located in central Florida.  They cast many different sculptures for awards, trophies and statues.  They began work on an award called the Spirit of America which included an eagle holding a flag near a tree branch.  The founder, Matt Ramieri, digitally sculpted the model in Z Brush, and he approached NeoMetrix requesting to 3D print the sculpture to use for investment casting.  He wanted two sculptures at different scales: a 9 inch wingspan and a 17 inch wingspan.

Traditional Method:

Software such as Z Brush allows sculptors to create without the risk of erosion or damage that would occur if the sculpture was originally made physically.  However, the only way to create a physical sculpture from a digital model – aside from additive manufacturing – is either CNC machining or duplicating it by hand from an artist’s eye.  CNC can only carve from one side and wastes materials.  In addition, having to physically replicate an original work by hand can deviate from the original artist’s vision; and it can be time consuming taking several revisions.

NeoMetrix Solution:

With 3D printing, we can replicate any digital mesh model with incredible detail and a smooth finish.  Our printers can print a layer thickness of 32 microns (0.0012 inches), and it guarantees the artist’s original vision for the sculpture will not be compromised. In this case, however, some additional editing and modeling was performed.  First, the mesh was cleaned and edited with Geomagic Wrap so it can be ready for 3D printing.  Any spikes, holes, or extra layers were removed.  In addition, Inspired Bronze requested for the pieces of the sculpture to be separated for casting.  They pieces needed to be, “keyed,” or interlocking with pegs and holes.  This was accomplished using Geomagic Design X, which allows easy flow between parametric and mesh modeling. With the model cleaned, the pieces separated and the parts keyed, the model was sent to our printer and the 3D printing process began.  Both models were printed and cleaned within two business days.  All the pieces were able fit together and the sculpture maintained a high level of detail throughout the cleaning process.

NeoMetrix Advantage:

Our services provide our customers with the solutions they need.
  • Unmatched level of accuracy
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Quality in design
  • Customization
  • Remaining true to the artist’s vision

3D Rendering of the “Spirit of America Award”:

Spirit of America in Geomagic Wrap

Spirit of America in separate pieces in Design X

Spirit of America fresh off the 3D printer

Parts cleaned and ready to ship out

A few months later, Inspired Bronze finished their Bronze casting of the Spirit of America Award and can be seen in the images below (courtesy of Inspired Bronze).