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And the Oscar is awarded to...3D printing!

01 March 2017

Polich Tallic, a fine art foundary, has used 3D modelling and printing in the design and manufacture of the famous gold Oscar statuettes.

Oscar Statuette ©A.M.P.A.S. ® (Courtesy: Polich Tallix)

The original Oscar statuette was sculpted in 1928 by Los Angeles artist George Stanley. Over the years, the design and manufacture of the statuette has undergone small changes. Most notably was the subtle softening of the features. In 2015 it was requested the statuette be returned to its original process of lost wax cast bronze for reasons of tradition and quality. Polich Tallix was chosen to help in this process. 

The company started by scanning a classic Oscar from 1928 as well as a modern Oscar from 2015. These two scans were blended to make the 2016 design closer to the original. The classic and modern Oscar were brought together using 3D modelling.

This new design was then 3D printed in wax. Polich Tallix explains on its website; “A mold of the wax print was made and used to make the modern wax version for each statuette. The waxes are each dipped in a ceramic shell slurry for ten coats. Once the shell is cured, it is fired in an oven at 871°C. Bronze at 1016°C is then poured into the hot ceramic shell and allowed to cool overnight. The next morning, the bronze castings are broken out of the ceramic shell and the plumbing system that guides the metal into the body of the casting is cut off. The castings are then sanded to a mirror polish finish and electroplated with 24 karat gold. The statuette’s base, also cast in bronze, is given a smooth, black finish. After the presentation, a mirror polished engraved bronze plate with each winner’s name and category is attached in the centre of the base.”

Oscar Statuette ©A.M.P.A.S. ® (Courtesy: Polich Tallix)

Production time for 50 statuettes is about three months. The completed gold plated statuette on its base is 13.5in tall and weighs about 3.9kg. The foundry is excited to be continuing this highly esteemed, long-established tradition of honoring accomplishment with a cast object created by an artist. 

“Polich Tallix has made many of such awards honoring all manners of accomplishment but never before,” says founder Dick Polich, “an object of such renowned and instant recognition.”

Sourced from Polich Tallix.

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