Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, by Alexander Stoddart

Sculptor and long-time client, Alexander Stoddart, approached us to create a full set of patterns for his sculpture of Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. This involved 3D scanning a maquette sculpted by Alexander, scaling up the data from the scan and then machining the patterns.

Our client

Alexander Stoddart FRSE is a Scottish sculptor born in 1959, who, since 2008, has been the Queen's Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland and is now the King's Sculptor in Ordinary. He works primarily on figurative sculpture in clay within the neoclassical tradition. Stoddart is best known for his civic monuments, including 10-foot (3.0 m) bronze statues of David Hume and Adam Smith, philosophers during the Scottish Enlightenment, on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, and others of James Clerk Maxwell, William Henry Playfair and John Witherspoon.

Part of Alexander Stoddart's Aristotle sculpture on Penta's CNC machine
Our CAD team programming the parts for Alexander Stoddart's Aristotle sculpture

The process

The manufacture of a full set of patterns, to be sent to Scotland upon completion, was required for this project. The patterns will then be inspected, rendered and have the final fine details added by Alexander before being sent to the foundry for casting in bronze.

To start off the process, we received a maquette sculpted by Alexander and used our 3D scanning services to collect data from the model which left us with a digital representation of the sculpture. Our CAD department then used this data to scale it up to the desired size and then split it into machinable parts. They then programmed the cutter paths and ran a simulation of the path to ensure it would run smoothly and successfully on the machine.

In total there were 30 individual parts to be machined using the 5-axis CNC machines at our factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire, over the course of 2 weeks. The separate parts were then assembled by our team to ensure that they all fit together perfectly.

The results

Once all of the machining was complete and the parts had been assembled, the finished sculpture stood at 3.5m tall! The sculpture has now been sent to Scotland to allow Alexander and his team to make any final finishing touches. It will then be cast in bronze by Black Isle Bronze foundry. The sculpture of Aristotle will then sit outside the Campanile in Old Parkland, Dallas, Texas.

Below is a time lapse video of the patterns being assembled in our workshop.


We regularly work alongside Alexander Stoddart, machining patterns for his sculptures and we really enjoy being involved in projects like this because they’re so different from our usual work with the Formula 1 teams. It also demonstrates the diversity of our skills and capabilities as a manufacturer.

It was remarkable to see the patterns fully assembled and standing at 3.5m tall in our workshop. We’re excited to see the final sculpture once it has been cast and installed in Texas.

For more information about our manufacturing and engineering services, check out the other pages of the website.


    Established in 1985, we have built a strong reputation for manufacturing excellent products within tight timescales and to extremely high tolerances. In order to achieve this, we use state of the art equipment and traditional, time honoured processes and skills.

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