GoEngineer Supports Special Operations with 3D Printed “Winged Guardian” Statue

by Glen Chancellor

GoEngineer Supports Special Operations with 3D Printed Winged Guardian Statue

Military heroes walk among us every day. They fight for our country granting us freedom and often times pay the ultimate sacrifice and never return home.  In honor of Memorial Day, we introduce you to the Winged Guardian project created by the people at SpecialOpsWarrior.Org in support of a foundation that supports the families of unsung heroes, The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF).


The SOWF Mission

Since 1980 SOWF has been supporting America’s Special Operations forces. Education is its top priority and its mission outlines a path of success for the surviving children of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps soldiers by providing the following:

  • Full financial assistance for a post-secondary degree from an accredited two- or four-year college, university, technical, or trade school,
  • Family and educational counseling, including in-home tutoring,
  • Immediate $3,000 financial grant to assist severely wounded and hospitalized special operations personnel.

GoEngineer Embraces the SOWF Mission of SOWF & SpecialOpsWarrior.Org

GoEngineer is embracing the mission of SOWF and SpecialOpsWarrior.Org. Utilizing SOLIDWORKS and 3D Printing, we are creating a scale statue The “Winged Guardian” to be used as a fundraiser for a full-scale bronze statue to be cast in a Southern California foundry with hopes that it will be installed at a future memorial site on the U.S. Marine base at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California. In addition, a portion of each sale will go to proven fiscally responsible organizations like SOWF.

Winged Warrior: Rendered and 3D Printed

To get started we transferred SpeciaOpsWarrior.org’s 3D design into SOLIDWORKS and prepared it for printing.

Winged Guardian

First Prototypes Revealed

Three prototypes were created and revealed for the Winged Warrior project.  The smallest model was printed in one piece using a Stratasys uPrint 3D Printer and then painted.  For the two larger models, the base was printed using Stratasys FDM 3D Printers as these types of 3D Printers work very well for larger models with less fine detail and the figurine and wings were printed on Stratasys Connex series 3D Printers using Polyjet technology. These machines are suited for extremely fine detail and superior surface finish.

Winged Guardian

Winged Warrior

George Dellinger holding the first 3D printed prototype

4 Pieces Make a Warrior
The wings, body, and base for the Winged Warrior were designed and printed, giving us 4 pieces.  We found early on that the locating pins were too small and could easily break, so to combat this, mating points were enlarged and strengthened and the wings were redesigned with a more ergonomic contour.

Below is the first relief model, a sculpture in which the figures project slightly from the background, like a wall plaque, or bookends.  This is a smaller resin-cast model to be used for shadow boxes that could be given to a family member of a fallen soldier.

3d printed winged Guardian

The first relief prototype was painted gold. These printed models will be used as patterns higher-end investment casting. Relief models will also be cast in resin and painted.  The 10″ tall models will be cast in bronze and will be placed inside SpecialOpWarrior.Org’s custom built flag/shadow box to be given to a family during a memorial service.

Winged WarriorGoEngineer appreciates the service of our men and women in the military.

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