We work with artists and scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs on everything from research and development to product qualification testing and analysis.
G & R Products: The Deer Aging Tool
Two wildlife biologists set out to solve a peculiar set of problems: (1) how can land or wildlife managers determine the age structure and genetic potential for a herd of deer, and (2) how can hunters determine the age class of their latest trophy?
The answer to both problems lay in a reliable method of determining the age for any deer. The only way to find out a deer’s age is by examining its teeth: wear patterns on the molars indicate how old the deer is. But how do you know the difference between a 2.5-year old deer’s molars and a 3.5-year old? The difference in wear patterns can be pretty subtle.
Their solution was the Deer Aging Tool: a set of eight deer tooth models an individual could carry easily through the woods as a set of keys.
The biologists commissioned SculptCAD to 3D-scan sections of eight museum-quality deer jawbones, ages 1.5-8.5 years. The sections are about 5 inches long and include the 6 teeth on the right side of the jaw. After taking the scans, we digitally sculpted a rapid prototype of the tool into a part that could easily be used to create a perfect mold.
In 2008, a major New York auction house sought out our help in analyzing a sculpture of Picasso’s Tete de Fernande brought to auction. The bronze bust was said to be cast in the 1920s.
Traditional authentication methods involve using calipers to take a series of linear measurements and comparing those to already-authenticated versions of the same casting. The auction house had found linear measurements of the bust to be 15% smaller than authenticated versions of Tete de Fernande.
The auction house solicited the high-tech assistance of SculptCAD. Using Konica Minolta scanners, we digitized the auction bronze as well as three authenticated other versions—one from the Tate Modern in London, one from the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and one from MOMA in New York. It took about 150 scans and six hours to capture each sculpture.
Linear measurements from calipers can only give one set of data. Once we had the scan data, we analyzed it using Geomagic Studio and Qualify software which allowed us to run several inspections showing deviation between the pieces, compare volume and how well authenticated busts lined up with the bust in question.
The studies confirmed that the bust was out of line with the authenticated versions, revealing that excess material was added to the bust, which threw off linear measurements. After digitally trimming the excess material, the bust turned out to be 20% smaller than the authentic versions: a sur l’image, or a copy of a copy.
Beyond authenticating artwork, SculptCAD has also used 3D technologies to preserve and conserve works of art, and to monitor the condition of a piece over time.
Mega Bloks: Toy Pirate Ships
When toy company Mega Bloks needed prototypes for their line of Pirates Of The Caribbean playsets, SculptCAD was more than willing to join the fun.
Mega Bloks commissioned us for help consulting and modeling four prototypes of buildable pirate ship play sets based on the popular Disney movie franchise. Mega Bloks provided us with some basic artwork and CAD models. From there, we digitally sculpted all of the textural features of the ship—the grain and nail heads of the wooden boards, the latticework and filigree along the handrails—from scratch.
By the end of the six-month project, Mega Bloks had highly detailed digital files of four toy ship prototypes they could send to a manufacturer. Hardly mere child’s play.
Capstone Metering and IntelliH20: Making water use and conservation smarter
Capstone metering are the developers of the world’s first smart water measuring device, the IntelliH20.
Lack of power at the meter is often the source of many cost, maintenance and design constraints for water systems. Capstone’s solution to this problem: make water meters smarter. The IntelliH20 is a self-powered meter that delivers real-time water systems management through remote communications technology.
Still in its pilot stage, Capstone is closer to completing the end design for the IntelliH20 thanks in part to SculptCAD’s help and the Objet 30 3D Printer.
Capstone needed to test designs for a part of the meter: a chamber that would hold a small turbine. In order to test prototypes and move forward with the design phase, they needed a 3D printer capable of printing material that could withstand high amounts of water pressure, said Capstone research and development manager Jim Williamson.
Williamson said that before coming to SculptCAD, the process of choosing and vetting ideas was more time consuming. "We’re still in progress, but we're able to go through more design changes and have tripled our design ability," he said. "We've been turning around parts much faster, test quicker and for higher quality."
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