The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Beyond the Ordinary Classroom: Merging Digital Technology Into A Centuries-Old Process

Students remove the crucible of melted metal from the furnace.

Centuries-old Foundry techniques include melting metal into a liquid form, pouring the metal into sand and ceramic shell molds, removing the casting after the metal has solidified, and finishing the metal with patinas. In Penn State School of Visual Arts' Foundry, under the watchful eye of Professor Cristin Millett, students learn these techniques, while incorporating digital technology developed by Professor Cristin Millett into this established process.

Traditional techniques of mold-making as part of this process include lost-wax casting, plaster mold casting, and sand casting. New mold-making techniques pioneered by SoVA’s faculty and students are breaking boundaries and merging digital technology into established processes, printing three-dimensional forms in thermoplastic using rapid prototyping technology and carving draftable patterns with a CNC Milling Machine.

Click here to view the Penn State photo gallery showcasing students casting metal in Foundry, using the printed digital three-dimensional molds.