About the Project
The Yorkshire Man of Steel project was planned to be a 30 metre high stainless steel sculpture and visitor centre, located above the M1 Junction 34, near the Tinsley viaduct. The project would honour the people and places in Yorkshire that forged a lasting legacy in many industries and signpost the new technologies that will secure the region’s future success.
Sculptor Steve Mehdi approached us in 2012 to join an exclusive team of industry-leading engineering/manufacturing businesses in the region, working to complete the project. He knew that our business operated in advanced design and could deliver solutions in untested environments, such as the design, manufacture and build of the 30m stainless steel statue.
Our first task was to reproduce a truly accurate representation of Steve’s bronze maquette, which could then be scaled from the original 300mm figure to the final 30m high piece. The team used our 3D optical scanning equipment to accurately capture the essence of Steve’s bronze, and from the data a CAD model was produced so that our engineers could start to break down the models into section that could be cast in stainless steel; Steve’s preferred option.
After a month of research, it became apparent that casting a piece this size, whilst possible, would not be financially viable. Working with Steve and the team it was decided the best approach would be to fabricate the Man. This would be incredibly challenging but hugely exciting and innovative.
To ensure that the engineers had a representative image and scale, Steve produced a card version of the model created so the panels could be fabricated. Once Steve had produced the model, we again 3D scanned and imported the data into CAD.
As a comparison we overlaid the new fabricated model scans over the original bronze scans and found that Steve had almost perfectly reproduced the dimensional proportions of the two pieces; a true testament to Steve’s skills as an artist.