3D Printing Helps Artist Make Massive Bronze Sculptures



If you’ve been to any historical monuments or large parks, you’ve probably seen a large bronze statue of a famous person, or perhaps of animals. Admittedly, I’ve never questioned how these figures were made, but there is a huge amount of work that goes into it, especially before the very recent advent of 3D printing. The sculpture in the gallery below reportedly took 5 years to complete.

The sculptures, as seen in this imgur set, are first mocked up on a huge amount of foam. Carving of this foam is made based on a relatively tiny model of the figure called a maquette, which is French for “scale model.” This step is where 3D printing has been recently added to the process. The giant foam sculpture can be created by hand, as you can see below, or in some cased even 3D printed with a large printer like the moose you see above.

This model is then covered and further sculpted with a thin layer of clay. Molds are constructed from the sculpture and sectioned into smaller more manageable pieces.

Once the molds are made, the assembly is boxed up and transported to a foundry where liquid bronze is poured to make the sculpture permanent. The pieces are welded together, sandblasted, and sprayed with patina to give it the nice dark finished look typical of many bronze sculptures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As technology has changed, 3D printing is making some of this process easier, but it seems like it’s still an incredibly labor-intensive process. One would definitely want to avoid getting stiffed on a project like this!

Via Reddit.

0 thoughts on “3D Printing Helps Artist Make Massive Bronze Sculptures

  1. Loucidity says:

    Nice work, would love some more detail on the 3D printing process itself, materials, printer, rough cost to make something of that size, that sort of thing.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).