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“Bronze Johns” Statuettes Saved with 3D Printing

The Carnegie Center for Surgical Innovation has assisted in the restoration of master busts of Johns Hopkins. The trophies produced from them are awarded to alumni and friends of John Hopkins University.

On a typical day the Carnegie Center for Surgical Innovation will produce surgical implants, models and experimental devices. Recently however, the center found a novel case in assisting its parent institution, Johns Hopkins University, with the restoration of an artifact from the 1970s.

Each year the university’s Alumni Association will hand out small bronze busts of its eponymous founder, Johns Hopkins, to alumni and friends for their outstanding service. To give it its full title, the Heritage Award is a tradition dating back to 1973, and has seen a great number of statuettes cast from the original masters created at its inception.

This means 45 years of wear and tear. Inevitably, the masters have deteriorated — only recently to the point that action was required.

Thankfully, the Carnegie Center is equipped with an industrial-quality 3D printer. Just the machine to fabricate a brand new master.

3D Printing a New Johns

Before any printing could take place, a scan was required of the bust. Direct Dimensions, a modeling and manufacturing firm also based in Maryland, handled this.

Juan Garcia, Director of the Carnegie Center’s print lab, explains “The Johns Hopkins bust was hand-sculpted by a sculptor. Now we’re using technology to re-sculpt using 3-D information.
The 3D model of the bust was printed using a Stratasys machine in the Carnegie lab. From this, a mold for casting is formed which is then used to cold-cast the final statuettes in bronze.

Affectionately referred to as Bronze Johns, the statuettes are a historic slice of historic university, preserved through 3D printing.

Source: Johns Hopkins University Hub

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