Hopkins himself was an entrepreneur and abolitionist in addition to his philanthropic interests. Born in 1795 in Loudoun County, Virginia, he was the second of what would be a family with 12 children. His parents Samuel Hopkins and Hannah Janney lived at Whitehall, a sizable tobacco plantation in Anne Arundel County. As Quakers, his family emancipated all of their slaves in 1807 and Johns was forced to set aside his schooling for a period and attend to duties on the family farm.
His fortune was amassed through his investments in the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad as well as other endeavors, and his business and social activities bound his ties with Baltimore. Seeing the price of the Civil War in Baltimore and the way in which disease moved through urban centers such as his made him acutely aware of the city’s need for improved and expanded medical facilities, leading to the creation of a clause in his will bestowing the monies for the creation of Johns Hopkins University and Hospital.Hopkins was an admirable man, an early abolitionist and one who continued to be interested in the condition of African Americans in the United States in a manner remarkable for his time. In keeping with the quality of his life and works, the university began a tradition in 1973 of awarding small bronze busts of the university’s founder to distinguished friends of the institution and alumni. These statuettes are part of the Heritage Award and are known as Bronze Johns.
Each statue produced over the past 45 years has been created by a mold, itself created from the original sculpture, called a statuette master. Over time, however, the masters have begun to deteriorate and the molds have therefore declined in quality. Juan Garcia, who directs the 3-D Print Lab at the Carnegie Center, explained:
“The Johns Hopkins bust was hand-sculpted by a sculptor. Now we’re using technology to re-sculpt using 3-D information.”
Thanks to assistance from Direct Dimensions, a Maryland-based modeling and manufacturing firm with experience in artistic projects, the two-year project to create a new master has been completed and will restore the Bronze Johns to their former glory.
The new master statuette was created by first scanning the old masters and an early Bronze John award, correcting any errors in the computer model. Then, a new master was printed on a high-definition Stratasys 3D printer, normally used for medical modeling, that is housed at the Carnegie Center for Surgical Innovation. Finally, new statuettes were cast in bronze by the team at Creative Castings using a cold-cast method which helps to both maintain the quality of the mold while reducing the cost of production. The newly minted statues were then mounted on bases of campus cherry trees and wood salvaged from campus buildings.
Johns Hopkins has been engaged in medical 3D printing for some time, including innovative work in brain surgery simulations, 3D printable bones, and study of the Zika virus. The Bronze Johns carry on the institution’s traditions of both 3D printing and recognition of excellence.
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source: Johns Hopkins Hub]
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