In order to recreate art Jeff Koons’ original balloon dog stainless steel sculpture, 3D scanning company NVision laser-scanned the art piece and produced a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) model of the dog, which Koons used to create several full-size sculptures in different colors.
NVision’s early model 3D scanner, the Digibot laser scanning system, was used to create scans of the dog. The Digibot transforms physical models into high-resolution computer models, which can be exported into popular 3D animation or CAD products.
NVision’s more current 3D laser scanner—it’s HandHeld scanner—is a portable scanner which is capable of capturing 3D geometry from objects of almost any size or shape. It is attached to a mechanical arm which moves around the object being scanned, capturing data rapidly. As parts are inspected, the scanner generates a point cloud consisting of millions of points, each with x, y, and z coordinates and i, j, k vectors. Accompanying software is used to convert the point cloud into an STL polygon and also enables rendering, editing, polygon reduction, and data output to all standard 3D packages.
In this case, the 3D scans were used to provide the exact dimensions needed to create the final series of full-size balloon dog sculptures. One of the sculptures, the orange model, was recently sold by Christie’s for $58.4 million, which sets a record as the most expensive work by a living artist to be sold at auction. Koons used the template created from the 3D CAD model to create the 12 ft. tall statue of a balloon dog.
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