New Article- Milling- An Additional Tool of Advanced Technology For the Traditional Sculptor

Created for Best of Artists and Artisans website
By Bridgette Mongeon © 2008

In this column’s May 2008 article, “Using the Computer and Poser in the Sculpture Studio,” I spoke about using the computer program Poser and Daz 3D to create my presentations for a sculpture called Jenna.  I’d like to expand on that process to further assist the traditional artists utilizing technology in the studio.   Some sculptors are utilizing digital scanning and milling to help enlarge their sculptures.  I will expand on scanning in a later article, as there is quite a bit of information to relay about digital scanning.  For this article we will focus on milling in foam.

 If you remember with the sculpture of Jenna, both Poser and Daz 3D figures were combined to create several different visuals for the client to look at and approve.  From there we took the computer generated 3D pose and sent it to Blue Genie Art Industries in Austin, Texas, for milling.  First we made sure that the mesh, the underlying structure in a 3D computer model that gives it its shape and form, was watertight.  This means that there are no holes in the mesh.  Blue Genie Art Industries can examine files for an artist and provided this service as well.

Blue Genie Art Industries then took the Poser file provided and sent it to the (CNC) Computer Numerical Controlled milling machine.  Here the CNC milling machine uses drill bits that move back and forth along the foam, carving out a foam replica of the 3d model that is in the computer.

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