Replicas for Gala Dinner produced in record time

The massive Channel Deepening Project by the Port of Melbourne Corporation officially ended last November.  But it will not be forgotten in a hurry.  The Dutch dredging company has left Melbourne with a gift that is both unusual and hard to forget. 

Their gift is in the form of a 10 meter high concrete sculpture titled 'Footprint Alliance'. The unveiling of the sculpture, followed by a Gala dinner, marked the official ending of the Channel Deepening Project.

In thinking about how to pay their own respect to the dredging company for their gift, the Port employed John Bardon from MergerRight Communications to come up with some way to integrate the massive sculpture into their Gala dinner's festivities.

John came up with a unique concept: Rather than revert to a more traditional floral arrangement as table centrepieces for the 40+ tables of guests, he thought of placing a replica of the sculpture on each table.  

The idea posed several challenges not the least of which was figuring out how to create a replica that would be both true to the original mammoth yet detailed design and able to be produced quickly and cost effectively.


The 'Footprint Alliance'  Sculpture - by Ruud Kuijer Commissioned by Royal Boskalis Westminster

"Formero made my idea come to life" he says, "Before I could say Jack Robinson, Formero had produced for me mini prototypes of the suggested centre piece, in various materials."  

The prototypes were presented to the Port’s organising committee who were very excited about the concept and agreed to the idea in a matter of minutes.


The replicas were produced utilising an additive manufacture technology called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

The centre pieces were such a hit at the Gala dinner, by the end of the evening they were all snapped away as souvenirs.


"As a marketer, without any manufacturing experience, I was amazed to learn that a part can be directly manufactured from the CAD design without the need for a tool production. I enjoyed working with the Formero's team and I would surely work with them again on other promotional projects."    John Bardon, MergeRight Communications