Feb 26, 2017 | By Julia

“And the Oscar goes to…” are the words everyone’s waiting to hear this Sunday when the 89th Academy Awards show is broadcast around the world.

This Oscar season is already ramping up to be a memorable one. The past twelve months have seen a new generation of filmmakers like Barry Jenkins and Denis Villeneuve break out in Hollywood, alongside established actors like Denzel Washington trying their hand at the director’s role.

But amidst all the buzz of critics’ lists, red carpet parties, and last minute theatre-going, another story has surfaced – not about who the Oscar will be going to, but rather, where it came from.

This year the iconic Oscar statuettes were 3D printed by Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry in upper New York state.

a finished statuette next to a wax version

"The trick was not to make it too shockingly different," said Daniel Plonski, an artist at the foundry.

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.

Plonski 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.

“There’s pride,” said Adam Demchak, executive vice president of Polich Tallix. “There’s excitement.”

Part of that excitement is due to the fact that, like millions of viewers around the world, even Demchak doesn’t know who the winners are. Polich Tallix consequently was tasked with engraving 223 bronze nameplates – one for each nominee. Winners will bring their Oscar to the Governor’s Ball, where Polich Tallix’s engraving station will personalize each statuette with a screwdriver and two screws.

“When they come up, we’ll be ready to go,” he said. “We put the nameplates on, make sure they look good, give the statue a little wipe down and hand it back to them.”

But until Sunday, the Polich Tallix team too remains in the dark, save for the gold glow of 60 shining Oscar statuettes.

The 89th Academy Awards of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be held February 26th at 5:30 pm PST at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Slawek wrote at 3/1/2017 8:12:51 AM:

It was not 3d printed but 3d scanned and casted in traditional way.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive