3D CNC Enlargement Requires Accurate 3D Mesh Models

The mesh models are sized to 8 foot figures in the software and the mesh data is converted to G-Code which is used to program the CNC router. The CNC router reads the G-Code, which is 3D plotting system, and it follows the 3D path cutting out the armature to perfection.
Paul and Jusint holding up the cut foam sculptures

Video of CNC Sculpture Enlargement of Nativity Armature

Images of CNC Sculpture Enlargement Armature Parts

CNC sculpture enlargement requires the foam cut-outs to be laid out and assembled one slice at a time.  Some areas of the foam need to be cut back slightly to allow for folds in the sculpture, such as in areas of the clothing, or bends in arms or legs. The foam by carved with foam files where needed. Also, if reconstructive surgery has to take place because a modification is made to the sculpture, a good quality hot knife is indispensable to the process. It is fun to see all the hard work of the 3D modeling of the miniatures in clay and digital processes come together into larger than life sculptures. While the foam models are fun to throw around, it won’t be so easy with the completed cast statues. The big statues will weigh in well over 200 lbs.  After the armatures are assembled, it is time to start putting clay on.

CNC sculpture enlargement can be accomplished using a variety of foam materials. Big Nativity uses either EPS or Urethane foam, depending on the part which needs to be enlarged.  Urethane foam is more expensive, and can be purchases in a wider variety of densities.  EPS foam is less expensive, you have less control of the foam, and is generally more suited for armature construction because of the cost.  Either of the foams can be hard coated if needed.

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