Cincinnati native Tom Tsuchiya is a well-known artist whose previous work includes bronze statues of former Cincinnati Reds players near the entrance of the Great American Ball Park and the inductees of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Now, Tsuchiya’s artistic skills are on display in Florence, Kentucky. The Florence Community Plaza features life-size statues of a firefighter, a public service worker and a police officer.
Although Tsuchiya has used 3D software, digital scanning, 3D printing and CNC (Computer Numerical Control) to help create sculptures in the past, the Florence project was the first time digital scans of actual people were used to create a sculpture.
Tsuchiya planned the general pose of the firefighter, the public service worker and the police officer with a little girl, using a 3D design program. He asked Matthew Martin, the Division Manager of Exact Metrology, and Scott Menne to digitally scan actual employees from the City of Florence, Kentucky. The firefighter in gear was scanned at the fire station, while the police officer and Martin’s daughter were scanned at the Florence city headquarters. A friend of the City of Florence posed as the public service worker.
Martin explained that Tsuchiya usually makes clay miniatures of his sculptures and has Exact Metrology 3D scan them. Concerning the Florence statues, Martin said, “Tom took a different approach and had Exact Metrology 3D scan the life-size figures using the Artec 3D Eva scanner. The figures were captured using a series of images at 30fps.”
After Tsuchiya finished the sculpting, the clay/foam/wood statues were delivered to the Sincerus Bronze foundry in Indianapolis to cast them in bronze. The whole process, from concept to bronze finishing, took four to five months for each sculpture.