For World's Biggest Statue, CAD/CAM Plays A Crucial Role

The line of CAD/CAM products offered by Delcam (Windsor, Ontario) will play a crucial role in the production of a 500-foot statue of religious figure Maitreya in Bodh Gaya, India. The ambitious, international-scale undertaking is called the Maitreya Project. The hope and goal of this project is for the completed statue to serve as a destination for pilgrims and tourists from around the world.

Article From: 10/15/2000 Modern Machine Shop

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Delcam's headquarters

Scale comparison of the 500-foot Maitreya statue alongside a typical industrial building (Delcam's headquarters in Birmingham, England).

The line of CAD/CAM products offered by Delcam (Windsor, Ontario) will play a crucial role in the production of a 500-foot statue of religious figure Maitreya in Bodh Gaya, India. The ambitious, international-scale undertaking is called the Maitreya Project. The hope and goal of this project is for the completed statue to serve as a destination for pilgrims and tourists from around the world. If the project is successful, the Maitreya will be the largest statue on earth.

In the Buddhist tradition, Maitreya is the future Buddha. His likeness is a symbol of expectancy and promise. Likewise, the attempt to build this statue symbolizes the promise of what today's construction and manufacturing technology can achieve.


The statue will be made from approximately 4,000 cast bronze panels measuring about 7 feet on a side, all aligned and secured upon a vast civil engineering structure designed to withstand thermal expansion and contraction, water drainage, and other rigors of the wide-ranging climate in that part of the world.

Delcam makes software products targeted specifically to mold makers, die makers, and others who are tasked with making geometrically complex parts. Different software modules in the company's interlocking "Power Solution" product line will be used at different phases of the Maitreya Project. Here's how:

  • When the master model is scanned, the company's CopyCAD reverse engineering software will be used to convert the data into a master CAD model.
  • PowerShape design software will then draw from this CAD model for the task of modeling each of the 4,000 panels.
  • Designers will use the software to create wall thicknesses for the parts and to add expansion joints, inspection targets and other civil engineering features.
  • PowerMill CAM software will then create tool paths for the molds that will cast all those panels.
  • Finally, QA personnel will use PowerInspect software to verify each bronze panel's dimensions against the original CAD model.

This same software will also be used during assembly—in conjunction with a civil engineering laser tracker or a comparable system—to check the positions of the panels as they are put in place.—PCZ

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