This post is part of a series in partnership with, which is a web development platform enabling anyone to build a stunning online presence using simple cloud-based creation and management tools. Join us for an event on the Business of Making in partnership with Wix in New York on November 24th - RSVP here

We’re interviewing some of our favorite makers leading up to our event on the Business of Making on November 24th in New York. This week we chatted with artist Sophie Kahn, whose work combines cutting-edge technology, like 3d laser scanning and 3d printing, with ancient bronze casting techniques. Sophie creates sculptures and videos that resemble de-constructed monuments or memorials. They engage questions of time, history, vision, identity and the body.

In addition to her art practice, Sophie runs Scannerworks NY, a business providing 3D laser scanning services to artists and designers.

You’ve been using 3D scanning and printing techniques for 10 years now – how did you first get introduced to the technology? What was it that appealed to you?

I first encountered the technology in Australia. I had enrolled in a course in order to learn architectural rendering, in the hope of expanding my vocabulary as a photographer, and my department was using 3D scanners and printers to aid in the effort to finish Gaudi’s famously unfinished Sagrada Familia Cathedral. I fell in love with the aesthetic, most of all with the errors generated by the scanner: it seemed to be a new way of looking at the world, almost a way of exposing and mapping the incompleteness of human vision.

How has your background in photography and art history influenced your work?

My grad school advisor and mentor Claudia Hart talks about 3D imagery as a new medium, a hybrid of photography and sculpture. I tend to agree with her, and I draw on my education in photography and theory all the time, most notably when thinking about technology, failure and loss.


What has been one of the biggest surprises since starting your business?

Every new job is different. I do a lot of work for sculptors who want to scale their work up or down, but am also called upon to digitize handmade items for import into 3d modeling software. This could be anything – I have worked on subway rail parts, hand-carved surfboards, wooden meditation stools, props for films and store display…

What’s coming up next for you, what are you excited about for either the end of the year or 2016?

Business has been really busy and the point was originally to fund my studio work. I have found that the business is starting to take over a bit so I am trying to outsource more so I can get more time in the studio!

Do you have any words of advice for young makers looking to explore the use of technology with their art? How would you recommend they get started?

The climate is so different now vs when I was ’emerging’ as an artist. There is a vast wealth of information available and costs of production have come down drastically in the past decade. I would advise them to immerse themselves in the information and resources available.

We try to add in a section on the “business of making” to showcase how projects get off the ground. We have three questions we ask as part of this:

How are your art projects typically funded?

A combination of sales of previous artwork, grants (I received funding from NYFA a few years ago), and, increasingly, commercial projects.

What materials/tools do you use in order to manufacture and prototype your projects?

I use a Polhemus handheld 3D laser scanner and a DAVID structured light 3D scanner.

Have you partnered with any organizations in your city (Makerspaces, small-batch manufacturers, schools) that have helped you in your process?)

I recently did a couple of projects with Bold Machines, the innovation workshop of Stratasys, who are in Boerum Hill in the former Makerbot building. I also work with many local independent designers, freelance 3D modelers, and New York-based companies.

Learn more about Sophie on her website and follow her updates on Twitter. You can also meet Sophie in person on November 24th in New York at our Business of Making event with


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