The world of carving and sculpting has always been viewed as the domain of the artist – and rightly so. Working with only their imagination and hands, there’s no doubt that many who plied the trade were highly skilled artisans. The work could be time consuming and sometimes tedious, but like any artistic endeavor it was a labor of love. Unfortunately, that’s all it could have been given the productive limitations of manual methods. From a business perspective, the nature of carving and sculpting by hand created limited opportunities for mass commercialization and expansion. Digital technology, however, is quickly transforming the world of carving and sculpting – and it’s opening doors for those who want to bring creative carving and sculpting to the masses.
The impact of technology on creative arts is nothing new. From photography to music to design, technology has revolutionized artistic fields, in terms of both creativity and production. While traditionalists may turn up their noses, the new breed of artist uses technology to improve their art, and the results have been groundbreaking. Carving and sculpture is experiencing this shift.
On the creative side, digital design and sculpting software has advanced in leaps and bounds, giving users the ability to translate their ideas directly into digital format. Meanwhile, 3D scanning technology has created the ability to quickly and accurately bring physical objects mang pe into the digital realm for editing, duplication and enlargement.
While creative sculpting processes move forward with technology, so too do the related production processes. Most obviously perhaps, automated 3D foam carving technologies have created a distinct shift in how creative ideas are turned into stunning carved and sculpted products. These technologies allow for the creation of incredible sculptural creations without the limitations of conventional hand carving. The end result is serious business opportunity.
3D FOAM CARVING
What is 3D foam carving? For starters, and not surprisingly, 3D foam carving’s medium is foam, of either the EPS or polyurethane variety. Foam is not only lightweight and easy to sculpt, but once appropriately coated and finished it’s also an extremely durable product that can be made to look like any type of material. Automated foam carving equipment transforms this foam into sculptures of any shape or size with the power of CNC (computer numerical controlled) technology. This technology takes the digital files generated through digital design software or via 3D scanning and automatically replicates or enlarges them with perfect accuracy and repeatability. While CNC hot wire cutting machines make short work of linear designs, 3D CNC foam routers can tackle any kind of 3D object. Once cut out of raw foam, protective coating along with various finishing and painting techniques round out the process – and the results are outstanding.
3D foam carving technology is not only able to reproduce the work that was once the sole domain of the artisan, but it can do it in a much more accurate and efficient manner. Highly creative pieces can be created in a fraction of the time and can be duplicated en masse with perfect accuracy. Thanks to constantly evolving technology and ongoing improvements to the related production processes, the possibilities, in terms of size, detail and realism, have essentially become endless. As a result, custom projects are no longer constrained by the speed at which an artisan can work, which introduces a range of new commercial possibilities.