David Kirkpatrick

April 18, 2010

The latest on the SculptCAD Rapid Artist Project

Here’s the official announcement of the project:

SculptCAD Rapid Artists to Debut at Society of Manufacturing Engineers Rapid 2010 Conference and Exposition

Inaugural Sculpture Exhibit Will Showcase the Convergence of Art and Technology

DALLAS, TX–(Marketwire – April 12, 2010) –  SculptCAD Rapid Artists, an experimental project launched by SculptCAD, a provider of sculptural/CAD design and reverse engineering services, announced its upcoming debut at the 2010 Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) RAPID Conference and Exposition (SME RAPID 2010), to be held on May 18-20 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. For the first time ever, SME RAPID 2010 will host an exhibit dedicated to the convergence of art and technology. Titled “Art’s Newest Medium: Rapid Prototyping Applied to Contemporary Visions of Sculpture,” the exhibit will feature the works of 15 SculptCAD Rapid Artists members who are exploring the use SculptCAD digital 3D modeling software to create art.

“This inaugural exhibit marks the first time that the SME RAPID Conference and Exposition has been open to fine art,” said Nancy Hairston, Founder and President of VanDuzen Inc. — the parent company of SculptCAD, and a SculptCAD Rapid Artists sculptor. “I applaud the vision of the SME RAPID 2010 conference leaders in welcoming SculptCAD Rapid Artists and its ground-breaking approach to art in the 21st Century.”

“SME is always on the lookout for cutting-edge, rapid manufacturing applications to enhance the value of our program,” said Gary Mikola, SME show manager. “SculptCAD Rapid Artists is a perfect fit. We’ve received strong interest from registered attendees and participants, and as a result we’re also offering technical sessions that support the visual Contemporary Art Gallery.”

Launched in October 2009, SculptCAD Rapid Artists’ mission is to expose career fine artists, previously unfamiliar with digital techniques, to 3D software, 3D scanners, and Rapid Prototype (RP) output. Members of SculptCAD Rapid Artists include sculptors, painters, and installation artists who work in materials ranging from marble to rubber to wood. Using computer technology to fuel the creative process, SculptCAD Rapid Artists is challenging conventional perceptions of art in the physical realm.

Digital sculptures created by SculptCAD Rapid Artists members benefit the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Arts Magnet) in Dallas. Many of the participating artists are alumni of Arts Magnet. All exemplify an innovative spirit consistent with the contemporary vision of the extraordinary Dallas Arts District.

At SME RAPID 2010, Nancy Hairston will give a Fine Arts track presentation titled, “Rapid Artists – Experiment in Artists Immersed in Rapid Technologies for the First Time.” Scheduled on May 19 at 10:00 a.m., Nancy’s presentation will report on the potential that SculptCAD Rapid Artists is unleashing.

About SculptCAD Rapid Artists
SculptCAD Rapid Artists is an experimental project launched by SculptCAD, a leading provider of sculptural/CAD design and reverse engineering services. Dedicated to the creation of fine art, SculptCAD Rapid Artists’ mission is to explore and expand the use of computer technology to design and produce works of sculpture utilizing 3D software, 3D scanning, and 3D printing. Artists can create having freedom from the constraints of physical media, and can make art faster using digital tools. Digital also offers artists the ability to make multiple versions and editions of their work, print art on-demand, and enable collectors to purchase and download art online. SculptCAD Rapid Artists was founded in October 2009 and is based in Dallas, Texas. For more information about how SculptCAD Rapid Artists is changing perceptions of art in the physical world, visit http://www.sculptcadrapidartists.com.

About SculptCAD
SculptCAD specializes in time compression technologies for 3D design and manufacturing. These technologies include reverse engineering, 3D visualization, 3D modeling, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, digital sculpting and CAD surfacing. SculptCAD serves a number of industries including fine art, housewares, medical, aerospace, packaging, product and toy manufacturing, and inspection. SculptCAD is a division of VanDuzen Inc., a rapid digital solutions company. Based in Dallas, Texas, VanDuzen is the parent company of two other divisions: MedCAD andVouch Software.

About Nancy Hairston
President & CEO, VanDuzen Inc.
Ms. Hairston brings 17 years of experience as a traditional sculptor and digital technologist to the pursuit of integrating 3D technologies in the creation and manufacture of sculptural products. Receiving a BA in Sculpture from Loyola University in New Orleans, Ms. Hairston began a career in 3D modeling with Alias | Wavefront / Silicon Graphics , in 2000, Ms. Hairston joined SensAble Technologies, and was instrumental in designing and implementing the “rapid” digital product development process between the United States and Asia for major American manufacturers. She founded VanDuzen Inc. in 2002, whose divisions – SculptCAD and MedCAD – work with major manufacturers to develop a variety of products, from toys to housewares to medical devices using Rapid technologies. In 2009, VanDuzen Inc. developed Vouch Software, which detects safety hazards in children’s products. VanDuzen Inc. is based in Dallas, Texas.

About The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)
Founded in 1932, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (www.sme.org) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events and activities, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning all manufacturing industries and disciplines, plus the key areas of aerospace and defense, medical device, motor vehicles, including motorsports, oil and gas and alternative energy. A 501(c)3 organization, SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of technical communities and chapters worldwide.

Hit this link for all posts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project.

April 15, 2010

Jerome Weeks covers SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project

I’ve run a number of posts on the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project, and there’s some interesting news from this week — this past Monday Jerome Weeks covered the project for his National Public Radio/KERA show Art&Seek.

From the second link:

Each year, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers presents RAPID, a trade show for all kinds of 3D imaging, prototyping and printing. The society wanted to encourage artistic applicants — a new avenue for the industry to explore — and approached Hairston, who had spoken at RAPID several times. SME just wanted to call for any “artistic” prototypes to be submitted, but Hairston wanted to engage working professional fine artists to take a step into the engineering field — no math skills needed. Hairston’s would be more of a curated show.

HAIRSTON: “I thought the most interesting way to attract artists is to make the case why this is a good business decision. It definitely compresses the time. And you know, it’s a new medium. It stretches them out and gives them a challenge.”

nancy and ginger

Nancy Hairston (left) and Ginger Fox at SMU’s Rapid Prototyping Lab: Pay no attention to the sign behind them

February 23, 2010

An interview with SME’s Gary Mikola

Gary Mikola is the Business Development Manager for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and is the Event Manager for Rapid 2010 & 3D Imaging Conference & Tradeshow coming this May in Anaheim. Gary has 31 years of experience at SME with responsibilities including conferencing, tradeshows, membership and training.

Fine art is going to be a part of this year’s Rapid show through the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project, an effort that combines the creativity of working visual artists with the cutting edge of 3D modeling, 3D visualization, rapid prototyping and digital sculpture tools. SculptCAD’s Nancy Hairston is spearheading the project and is participating as an artist.

This interview with Mikola is the second of many coming blog posts about the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project (you can find the first post here) and is the first interview with a project principal. Future posts include a discussion with Hairston on her artwork and her work as a 3D industry leader, and posts with individual participating artists covering how they are approaching the technology. Hopefully future posts will include some sneak previews of the art being created in this fusion of fine art and high technology.

And without further delay, here’s the interview with SME’s Gary Mikola:

I understand SME is interested in the intersection of fine art and technologies like rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing, 3D visualization/modeling, etc. (I’m sure I’ve left some tech areas out of that short list.) What would you like to see in the future in terms of integrating SME and fine art? What comes next after RAPID 2010 and the SculptCAD RAPID ARTISTS Project?

SME is fortunate to have dedicated members and event advisers including the Rapid Technologies and Additive Manufacturing (RTAM) group. RTAM advocated the addition of a presentation addressing the use of the technology applied to art. Most recently, many prominent artists, including speaker Bathsheba Grossman, have associated with and used the technology to create and present art.

Tell me a little about the genesis of making fine art a part of RAPID 2010?

A tension exists between design engineers and manufacturing engineers. Starting with concurrent engineering philosophy to present, the task of manufacturing products designed by someone outside of manufacturing has slowed product to market. RAPID will be an outlet for engineers from both camps to come together and turn ideas and designs into reality.

Artists have an ability to think outside the lines of traditional concepts. Contemporary art exemplifies that. The challenge of creating products that appeal to all kinds of markets and multiple applications presents a catalyst for change for design and manufacturing engineers. The SculptCAD Rapid Artists projects here at RAPID will introduce this concept to a wider range of people. We have confidence that the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project will be a beginning, expanding thinking and creating future applications.

Looking toward this year’s show, how did Nancy Hairston (VanDuzen, SculptCAD) and the SculptCAD RAPID ARTISTS Project get involved with RAPID 2010? Did you know Nancy before this project?

SME members and Technical Advisers Kevin Ayers, FBI and Vesna Cota, Tyco Electronics Canada, were instrumental in pushing for the inclusion of art at RAPID. After Kevin introduced SME to Nancy, we formalized the inclusion of the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project at our event. Nancy also contributed ideas to promote the Contemporary Art Gallery at RAPID.

Going beyond the fine art element, give me the quick overview of this year’s RAPID show. What really excites you about RAPID 2010?

RAPID 2010 will bring manufacturing professionals, designers and even artists together to view, explore and discuss new innovations in 3D scanning and rapid prototyping technology. Exhibits, keynotes and presentations will illustrate applications in aerospace and defense; automotive; arts and entertainment, including games; medicine; and sports and recreation. Buyers and end-users of design, prototyping, tooling and direct manufacturing equipment will get a chance to compare processes, talk to industry experts and participate in more than 70 technical presentations.

A few examples of really exciting stuff to see at RAPID 2010:

o Medical presentations will explore uses of additive manufacturing for organ replacement, prosthetics, spinal injuries and even eye lenses.

o The Arts and Entertainment track will show how additive manufacturing can create special effects for movies, produce new types of sculptures and develop video games for education.

o In the Aerospace and Defense track, speakers will discuss rapid prototyping for airplane parts.

o Presentations in the automotive/motor vehicle session will cover the technology’s application for machining and tooling.

o An interactive session will use social media to solicit questions before the event and a panel of experts will review and answer them in a live broadcast

We also have outstanding keynote presenters that will start the conference daily. And, as always, the technology on the show floor will provide an experience that enhances ones knowledge of the industry.

We are also excited to be in Anaheim at the Disneyland Hotel. Walt Disney was an individual with an amazing imagination. He contributed much to our creative thinking as a county and to the development of American culture. Our industry supports art and creativity in a similar way.

Do you have any final thoughts on SME and fine art?

Personally, I love art. My early training as an industrial arts instructor taught me the value of using your hands as a learning tool. In that environment, a student is encouraged to be creative; mixing that with traditional industrial skills. SME is also committed to education. SME’s Educational Foundation supports summers camps and numerous activities to encourage careers in manufacturing. With rapid technologies, art is another option for further study.

For more information, visit www.sme.org/rapid, or follow us on Twitter: @Rapid_Event.