This year’s Oscar statuettes 3D printed in upstate New York

The iconic Oscar statuettes this year were 3D printed by Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry in upper New York State. When Polich Tallix was tasked with producing 60 gold statues last year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wanted awards that were closer to the original Oscar statuette from 1929. Daniel Plonski, an artist at the foundry, set to work by 3D scanning both an early statue and a recent statue, then borrowing desired qualities from both in a new design. The digital scans were then 3D printed, molded, and cast in wax.

A team of expert employees then coated each wax statuette in a ceramic shell, which was then cured and fired at 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Firing causes the wax to melt away, leaving an empty Oscar-shaped form, ready to be hand cast in liquid bronze at over 1,800 degrees. After cooling and sanding, the figure was finally electroplated with a permanent layer of reflective 24-karat gold. The result is a subtle, yet painstakingly handcrafted restoration. While the measurements remain about the same – the statue stands 13.5 inches tall and weighs 8.5 pounds – the facial features are more defined, including a stronger hint of ears and a hair part. The statuette’s sword also rests in sharper relief between Oscar’s legs.

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