NextFab staff works on Visit Philadelphia artwork

You’ve probably seen the billboards, “With Love, Philadelphia, XOXO,” part of a campaign for visitphilly.com to promote travel and tourism in and around Philadelphia. You may have also seen the red “XOXO” at 30th street station or Independence Hall. This summer, NextFab is helping to spread the love by fabricating two event specific, mobile XOXO sculptures.

The idea behind the sculptures was to make them lightweight enough to be transported and set up for a single event and then reused for additional events throughout the summer.

The template for the design, based on the original logo and identical steel sculptures was used to cut a plywood support structure on the ShopBot CNC router. The ShopBot was also used to cut the lightweight, foam insulation body of the sculpture which was glued together on either side of the plywood support.

xoxo Philadelphia art sculpture in progress at NextFab makerspace

To help with portability and assembly, the piece was split into two sections that mate with a mortise-and-tenon joint and slide onto pins on a flat base.

xoxo Philadelphia art sculpture in progress at NextFab makerspace

Once the basic structure was complete, the edges were sanded and it was sprayed with Smooth-On EZ-Spray Styro Coat, a durable, hard plastic coating. When the coating had cured, it was sanded and filled where necessary to get a smooth coating for painting.

xoxo Philadelphia art printing in progress at NextFab

After the paint dried a full-sized, adhesive vinyl “skin” was printed with a design representing the first event appearance, Philadelphia’s Odunde Festival.

The vinyl skin was applied using transfer tape to line it up perfectly to the edges of the sculpture.

xoxo Philadelphia art sculpture in progress at NextFab makerspace

Keep an eye out for the XOXO sculpture at Philly area events this summer.

xoxo Philadelphia art sculpture on display

If you have a project like this in mind, NextFab can help!

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