Ready, Set, Atlanta

FABTECH 2022 is back in Atlanta, Ga., the state that is widely becoming known as the “Hollywood of the South.’’ The entertainment and arts scene in Atlanta has exploded as the go-to location in the world.

AWS Publications | November 9, 2022 | Tech And Industries
Welding Digest ►  Ready, Set, Atlanta

FABTECH 2022 is back in Atlanta, Ga., the state that is widely becoming known as the “Hollywood of the South.’’ The entertainment and arts scene in Atlanta has exploded as the go-to location in the world.

According to the Georgia Film Office, a division of the state’s Department of Economic Development, the Peach State hosted 412 entertainment productions between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 (Ref. 1). Studios are providing additional infrastructure and jobs that range across a variety of skills from carpentry and welding to engineering and graphic design.

As a result, fabrication companies of all kinds are finding a welcome home in Atlanta. One such company that has flourished is ID3 Group (, a full-service fabrication company.


ID3 in the Limelight

ID3 Group consists of 65 employees that work in metal, waterjet cutting, carpentry, welding, CAD, concept design, 3D scanning, model making, CNC machining, hard-coating, custom paint-mixing, sculpting, painting, and installation. The company provides customized turnkey fabrication services through its 150,000-sq-ft facility.

Photo 1-Oct-25-2022-10-12-20-5017-PMID3 Group has built a team of fabricators, including welders, to deliver the clients’ vision from imagination to reality.


Initially, the company was called Infinite Dimensions and mostly made wall panels for various applications. After being acquired by Dave Walens, who brought in Matthew Kelly as chief operations officer (now president) and Rick Clark as chief creative officer, the company expanded ID3’s capabilities and applied them to environments, experiences, and event marketing in the trade show world, live events, and traveling exhibitions. ID3’s capabilities grew to include a full CAD department; metal department; and carpentry, paint, and scenic division.

“Typically, our team receives a design proposal, and our group works to estimate costs and understand the most effective method for delivering designs and builds that match the client’s vibrant imagination,” said Kelly. “All this work is done with artistry, craftsmanship, and quality in mind so that the client’s designs, not only match their vision but last in the real world for everyone to enjoy.”

Photo 2-Oct-25-2022-10-12-20-9085-PMPictured are the team of ID3 welders, including (from left) Jeff McCravy, Kyle Register, Joel Stowers, and Arthur Johnson.


Inside Project Exhibitions

Over the years, ID3 Group completed a wide array of projects, including scenic fabrication exhibitions from film and television. Some of the company’s biggest projects include the Harry PotterTM traveling exhibition from Warner Brothers and Imagine Exhibitions and the Hamilton traveling exhibition.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition celebrates the films and stories of Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts™, and the expanded Wizarding World, utilizing immersive design and technology. This touring exhibition shows crafted environments that honor the films and stories of Harry Potter and the Wizarding World while exploring the filmmaking magic that brought them to life. The ID3 team, which included welders, specifically created a large model of the infamous Harry Potter golden snitch. This involved waterjet-cutting sheet metal and gas tungsten arc welding it to a 3/8-in. spine armature. That armature was molded using a 3-drum slip roller.

The team also created the fire-breathing mascot atop the entry gates at The Ron Clark Academy (RCA), Atlanta, Ga.

Photo 3-Oct-25-2022-10-12-21-3528-PMID3 created and installed the dragon that awaits students as they enter the RCA gates.


Additionally, the Hamilton traveling exhibition featured 18 highly detailed rooms. The project required 100 artists spending 50,000 hours in the ID3 facility, working to fabricate an exhibition in only six months. The project required ID3’s team using their proprietary 3Dimensioneering® process as well as intricate carpentry, metalworking, painting, scenic design, three-dimensional elements, and much more to create an 18-room exhibition detailing Alexander Hamilton’s life.

The biggest challenge was the size of the project and the level of detail required, but the team worked hard to make it happen, utilizing the 3Dimensioneering process.

The process involves a client imagining an idea or presenting a concept proposal to the ID3 team. From there, if art is not available, the fabricator’s design team will sketch and provide 2D renderings. Upon approval, the team will design maquettes or physical models/3D renderings of the spaces/characters to be built. Then, they sculpt, hard coat, paint, and install.

The process is similar for other trade-show environments, experiential exhibitions, and live events. The project begins with a proposal from the design company partnering with ID3. From here, the team coordinates cost estimates for the build to ensure they can get as close to the design intent as possible while maintaining budgets. The design team has an extensive artistic background with expansive knowledge of the fabrication world.

“There is great synergy when working with design teams and adjusting concepts on the fly and discovering new creative opportunities for the client to pursue. We also document jobs extensively through the production process,” said Walens.



In the last few years, Atlanta has developed a tradition for bolstering the city’s global presence in the entertainment world. And as a result, more fabrication companies based in Atlanta such as ID3 Group are expanding and seeing growth. 



Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Governor Deal announces record-breaking FY18 for Film and Global Commerce.”


This article was written by Roline Pascal, education editor, for the American Welding Society.