Wendell Castle Automation

Unicorn Family.jpg

Original Sketch

Wendell Castle is considered the Father of the Art Furniture Movement and is represented in museums and galleries around the world including; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Wendell was originally trained as an industrial designer and started every project with a sketch.


Scale Models

As part of his process, Wendell also created small scale models of each piece. This is him reviewing pieces for a retrospective of his work at the Museum of Art & Design MAD. Wendell was interested in experimenting with 3D scanning to help preserve is work.

photo 2.JPG

Willy Willy

We used the piece titled “Willy Willy” as the first application of the scanning process.

photo 2.JPG


ram used a FARO laser scanning arm to digitize the original surfaces of the design.

photo 3.JPG


The form of Willy Willy is complex and required multiple registrations to capture the complete form.

2 Willy Willy polymodel.jpg

Original Digital Surface

The scan arm captures every mark of the hand-crafted model and a data point cloud is derived.


Model Optimization

The final scan is used as a guide to create a new 3D model with full surface continuity.



The scan data is then used to visualize the design in a variety of materials and locations.



An ABB robot arm was retro-fitted with a milling head and used to carve the scaled up data into finished pieces of furniture. Wendell called the robot “Mr. Chips”