The Making of a President: Smithsonian creates 3D-printed bust of Obama

Image via Screenshot

Image via Screenshot

This is how a president is made.

The White House and the Smithsonian teamed up to make a 3D printing of President Barack Obama.

A video released by the White House Tuesday shows how Smithsonian staffers used scanners, cameras, and computer programs to make a 3D-printed bust of Obama. All of their tools took tiny measurements to create the full bust. Smithsonian experts stressed that this was an exact likeness, not an artistic rendering.

According to Gunter Waibel, the director of the Smithsonian Digitization Program Office, the project was inspired by “life masks” of President Abraham Lincoln’s face. Those masks were made by actually putting plaster on Lincoln’s face to capture his likeness.

“Seeing that, we wondered what could happen if we were able to do that with a sitting president using modern day technologies and tools to create a similarly authentic experience that connects us to history, that connects us to a moment in time, and connects us to a person’s likeness,” Waibel said.

The 3D printed bust will eventually be added to the National Portrait Gallery.

Watch the video below:


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