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3D Systems

Innovation

From Print to Patina

Fine art foundry extends capabilities with digital craftsmanship

Published: Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 16:09

Best described as “a museum of art being built,” the Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry in Rock Tavern, NY, has helped artists develop and produce their work for nearly 50 years. Large-scale Frank Stella statues adorn the exterior of the premises, which is otherwise unassuming in all but scale. The size of a multi-storied football field, this is where some of the world’s grandest sculptures are cast, fabricated—and now—3D printed.

Whether clients begin with a digital file or not, Polich Tallix’s growing branch of digital production is helping the foundry advance its ability to deliver art precisely as it was envisioned. Using a complete digital workflow that starts with 3D scanning, Daniel Plonski, Polich Tallix’s 3D artist and production specialist, uses 3D Systems’ Geomagic software to design and prepare 3D files before 3D printing detailed wax parts.

“Geomagic offers a tremendous advantage to us,” says Plonski, who uses the software as part of a scan-to-print workflow to make surfaces from points, accurately align separate, matching 3D scans, fill holes, and implement Boolean macroscripting. (Boolean operations are capable of a wide assortment of functions, including meshing objects together, removing data from one object in the shape or pattern of another, and generating data in the intersection of two objects.) “From looking at the models we produce, you’d think there was a magic button that smooths and perfects everything, but there’s a lot of digital craftsmanship involved,” Plonski says.

Primarily a lost wax and investment casting outfit, Polich Tallix has owned and operated a ProJet 3500 CPX wax printer for as long as Plonski has worked there. Sold and serviced by 3D Systems Reseller CadBlu, Plonski says that the ProJet is a workhorse. “We run it almost 24/7 and have been for some time now,” he says. “It really complements our workflow and has been a key tool in helping us extend our capabilities beyond what anyone thought possible.”

But 3D software and 3D printing are not just contributing to finer details. These solutions also allow the foundry to maintain a faster production pace while enabling designs to be modified and tested on the fly, an ability has proven to be a core advantage of the foundry’s new digital production workflow. According to Adam Demchak, Polich Tallix vice president and general manager, “The 3D Systems’ solutions we’ve adopted allow us to be more responsive to our clients by making changes and fine-tuning forms at the drop of a hat.” 

Polich Tallix attributes the adoption of its digital workflow to its ability to push the envelope and pioneer new techniques in the fine arts. “A lot of what we do here is really R&D,” Plonski says. “This is such a capable technology; we’re still unlocking unexplored possibilities daily.”

Check out the video below for more on 3D Systems’ end-to-end solutions at Polich Tallix.

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3D Systems

3D Systems is a leading provider of 3D content-to-print solutions including 3D printers, print materials, and on-demand custom parts services for professionals and consumers alike with materials ranging from thermoplastics, metals, ceramics, and edible sugar. The company also provides software design tools including CAD, scanning and inspection, and consumer 3D printers, apps, and services. 3D System's expertly integrated solutions replace and complement traditional methods and reduce the time and cost of designing new products by printing real parts directly from digital input. These solutions are used to rapidly design, create, communicate, prototype or produce real parts, empowering customers to manufacture the future.