Sponsored by Energy Trust

Making it real

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012

BY JON BELL

0412_GamePlan_AdditiveWorkshop
Additive Workshop in Wilsonville is a 3-D digital modeling studio.

Rob Arps, founder of Wilsonville-based 3-D digital modeling studio Additive Workshop, had a moment of enlightenment in 2000 with a bald eagle, a laser and a chunk of mahogany.

A 1994 fine arts graduate of the University of Oregon, Arps began his career helping local artists scale up their sculptures. He later moved to New York, where for five years he headed the creation department for a company specializing in professional sports and country club logos.

One of his projects there was to sculpt a bald eagle out of clay, digitally scan it and have a Computer Numerical Control router carve the eagle in mahogany. He remembers watching the router carving the eagle perfectly and thinking about the potential of the technology.

“Basically, you can take something from the real world, manipulate it virtually in any way you can think of and then bring it back into the real world,” says Arps, who moved back to Oregon with his wife in 2005. “Michelangelo would be all over this.”

Fascinated by the artistic and commercial possibilities, Arps invested $50,000 in a CNC router, a scanning and software system and launched Additive Workshop in his basement in 2005. He initially worked with local artists, but quickly expanded into the commercial realm. Within the first year, he’d outgrown his basement; Additive is now stretching the seams at its 10,000-square-foot studio.

Masterpiece Investments, a Wilsonville firm, acquired Additive in 2010, a move that has allowed the company to grow. The parent company has plans for an IPO in the near future.

With 22 employees, Additive blends traditional sculpting techniques with the latest technology to precisely enlarge or reduce artwork. Artists will bring their work to Additive, where it is digitally scanned to make a 3-D model, resized to almost any dimension from a 2-inch figurine to a 60-foot monument, then milled out of foam or other material. The final product can be cast in anything from bronze to hardwood.

The bulk of Additive’s business these days comes from marketing, advertising and entertainment. The company has made 12-foot basketball players for Nike, a 27-foot dragon for Wynn Casino and the 65-foot Spirit Bear for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Additive’s scanning technology already achieves “sub-fingerprint” details — about .0006 of an inch — and Arps sees it only getting better. He says Additive will continue to expand its advertising and entertainment work, but other possibilities, such as accurately preserving artistic data for institutions like the Smithsonian or the Louvre await as well.

“Imagine what we could do for places like that,” Arps says.

 

More Articles

Three problems with Obama's immigration order

News
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR112614-immigration-thumb

By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.


Read more...

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peter Lizotte at ACME Business Solutions and Roger Busse at Pacific Continental Bank share their favorite reads.


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Read more...

Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

News
Thursday, November 13, 2014
carsonstudentdept-thumbBY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.


Read more...

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


Read more...

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS