China has been the birthplace of many unique and fascinating 3D printed objects and structures as of late. More innovation has come out of China, in the realm of 3D printing, than from any other Asian nation. Whether it is the 3D printing of entire buildings, or the recent car that was 3D printed by a company called Sanya Sihai, the country certainly cannot be ignored when it comes to showing what 3D printing is capable of accomplishing.
For one China-based company, called Tany Foundry, 3D printing is just one of the tools they use in creating custom bronze cast products. With over 30 years’ experience, they pride themselves on being able to get the job done, no matter what the size of the project may be. One of these technologies happens to be 3D printing.
“We have many sculpture projects which are made from the workflow of 3D printing and bronze casting,” Owen Weng, Project Manager for Tany Foundry, tells 3DPrint.com. “The application of 3D printing technology has revolutionized the production of sculptures. The streamlined workflow from 3D model to bronze casting frees up artists and lets them spend more time on designing.”
The latest project which Weng and his team completed was a 32-inch-long dinosaur which was designed by artist Travis Tischler. Using Zbrush, the team 3D modeled the dinosaur to capture all of its high level of detail. Then the ZTL (Zbrush) file was converted into a 3D printable STL file, just prior to sending it off to the company’s 3D Systems 3D printer to get printed out.
Weng tells us that it took them approximately five days to 3D print the 13 individual pieces, which were all printed at a 10 micron resolution. Then, using the 3D printed objects, the foundry created silicon rubber molds, before using lost wax casting to cast the objects in bronze. Basically the rubber molds are made around the objects, and then the wax models are created from these molds. Once this is complete, plaster is formed around the wax models. The wax is melted out, and the plaster molds are then filled with the melted metal. Once hardened, the molds are removed and the company is left with a brilliant metal dinosaur.
As you can see in the photos provided, the final product is quite extraordinary indeed. The great part about this process is that these molds can be used over and over again in order to create multiples of the same bronze dinosaur.
What do you think about this unique creation by Tany Foundry? Do you expect to see 3D printing used more and more by various foundries around the world? Discuss in the 3D Printing a Bronze Dinosaur forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some more photos below.