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How the Intertwining of Art and Technology can Propel Innovation

Christine Fitzgerald is an award-winning Canadian photo-based artist who is known for using uncommon methods to create unique physical objects from photographs. Christine approached professor Bertrand Jodoin, the head of the University of Ottawa Cold Spray Lab, to collaborate on a unique piece of artwork produced using cold spray. Cold spray is a metal additive manufacturing technology in which metal particles are accelerated through a converging-diverging nozzle to supersonic velocities. During impact, the kinetic energy of the particles is transformed into plastic deformation and heat, resulting in mechanical and metallic bonds. Dr. Jodoin quickly realized that the scale of the artwork exceeded the capabilities of the university laboratory space and reached out to the cold spray specialists at PolyCSAM, the Polycontrols metal additive manufacturing hub. PolyCSAM is a world-class, cold spray, hybrid additive manufacturing demonstrator facility integrating advanced surface preparation techniques, material deposition, in-situ robotic machining & surface finishing, heat treatment, and data analytics/machine learning-based process control.