A 30m ‘Man of Steel’ sculpture is to be installed high above Sheffield and Rotherham in 2015. Seated on an accessible three-storey building positioned on a former landfill site, the highly polished steel figure will be seen from Rotherham, much of the city of Sheffield and from the M1 motorway, which carries 100,000 vehicles a day.
Dassault Systèmes 3D technology was deployed to develop an exact digital 3D replica of a bronze casting made from artist Steve Mehdi’s packaging tape constructed original. This virtual sculpture helps generate physical versions of the Man of Steel from different materials in different sizes.
Sheffield Hallam University’s Geometric Modelling and Pattern Recognition Group used laser scanners to measure and digitise the precise dimensions of the original work. Machining specialists at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) then converted the data and input to Dassault Systèmes technology which allows design and engineering functions to be conducted on a unified software platform.
The development, construction and installation of the full scale Man of Steel involves several hundred people across a range of employment areas in the Sheffield City Region. These include, off-site design and fabrication, rapid prototyping and manufacturing, on-site engineering and deep pile foundation work, as well as installation and fitting out the visitor centre.
“We have the steel, fabrication, construction and sponsors in place for a public opening in 2015,” said Mehdi. “The figure represents Mankind and despite its size it does not impose itself on people.”
Currently a 3m model has been made at AMRC, an art collector’s 30cm limited edition in bronze has sold out and an edition in silver is planned. The large-scale steel version will be based on the original laser scans to ensure that the artist’s vision and intent are retained through to completion.
The sculpture will be built in an area that has suffered significant economic setbacks and has recently been defined as an ‘enterprise zone’ by the Government.
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.