Case Study: Mixed Media Artist Uses FastSCAN For Rapid Prototyping of Art

Vivian Pratt, a mixed media artist, combines technology and various media methods with her traditional wood carvings, creating 3D rapid prototype reproductions, playing the traditional against the cyber-sculpture, resulting in an energy and tension not possible with a single sculpture. Vivian creates her wood sculptures using roots and driftwood, then carves, adds and forms pieces to create the finished masterpiece. Vivian's art features fantasy creatures, part human, part animal with allusions to dragons and gods.

FastSCAN scan for wood carvingsThe Process

The technique of creating an original wood sculpture can take weeks to complete. Once it is finished, this sculpture is then scanned with a Polhemus FastSCAN system. FastSCAN is a lightweight, handheld, portable 3D scanner creating real-time images.

The scanning process is fast, taking as little as just one minute, depending on the complexity of the sculpture. The file can then be saved in multiple file formats such as STL, IGES, OBJ, DXF and many others, for easy importing into a CAD or modeling software of choice. In this particular case Vivian exports into Maya®, and is then able to modify the scan for complete customization.

Vivian tailored this particular scan adding frill to the neck and removing certain attributes in order to resemble a female unicorn (see printed model image; actual artwork shown with two sculptures). The customized model was then produced with a Dimension printer at a reduced scale. After putting weeks of work into each sculpture, with a simple scan Vivian has the ability to customize and reproduce her art using a rapid prototyping system.

Using FastSCAN not only saves time, but offers options such as scaling and digital archiving which are not available with traditional methods.

Learn More: