Kern Studios enters robotic era: meet Pixie, our digital fabricator

Kern Studios has been synonymous with premier props for decades. And many of the production methods that are used, still date back to the early days. Yet to ensure we will stay at the cutting edge of our game for generations to come, we recently invested in a very interesting new ‘employee’.

Meet Pixie: our new digital fabricator, or: sculpting robot. This versatile robot from KUKA/ Robotic Solutions is capable to mill sculptures up to 60’ long, with incredible refined detail. Ideal for large-scale props produced for e.g. billboards and stadiums. Yet the maximum size sculpture is potentially limitless by breaking it into manageable pieces using our software.

We named our robot after the amazing Jerelyn “Pixie” Hall Naquin, who rose from secretary to executive vice president in her 47 years at Kern Studios and was famous for her relentless positive energy and incredible eye for detail.

So will this Pixie replace any of our artists? Absolutely not! Our robot can do many things, but she is neither creative nor aware of esthetics. So we will always need our real-life artists. As a matter of fact, adding this tool to our production process has not only expanded our production capacity, but has also created more positions in our company for programing, 3D modeling, and 3D scanning.

In addition to the sculpting department, Pixie increases our entire manufacturing capacity. The robot will predominantly carve out EPS Styrofoam, but is capable of carving trough polyurethane, stone, wood, clay, and even metal. Combined with its 0.01mm accuracy, this opens up all sorts of production possibilities.

New Orleans, March 15 2016