Tags: obama | 3d | printer | plastic | bust

Obama 3-D Printer Creates Plastic Bust of President (Video)

Image: Obama 3-D Printer Creates Plastic Bust of President (Video)
Image provided by the Smithsonian Institution shows the life mask of the first presidential portrait created from 3-D scan data. (Smithsonian Institution via AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 06:54 AM

A 3-D printer scanned President Barack Obama on a "mobile light stage" to create a plastic bust of the president – the highest resolution digital model that’s ever been made of a head of state.

MSNBC reported that the 3-D printed sculpture recently went on display at Smithsonian Institution's Castle Commons gallery, and on Tuesday the White House released a behind-the-scenes video explaining how the project came together.

Over a hundred years ago, artists had President Abraham Lincoln sit for a 3-D portrait of his own, that — back then — was created by spreading plaster on his face. Those casts, known as the Lincoln life masks, now reside at the National Portrait Gallery.

"They’re called life masks because these were directly taken from his likeness," explained Günter Waibel, director of the Smithsonian Digitization Program Office.

"There was plaster put on his face, and seeing that made us think, what were to happen if we could actually do that with a sitting president, using modern-day technologies and tools to create a similarly authentic experience that connects us to history … to a moment in time … and to a person’s likeness?"

Luckily for Obama, he didn't have to sit for an hour with plaster on his face and breathing straws in his nose while the cast dried. Instead, he simply sat in front of a framework of 50 LED lights, eight high-resolution sports cameras, and six wide-angle cameras — all hooked up to state of the art computers, of course.

In just a few seconds, the system took millions of measurements, capturing each and every contour of the president's head.

"This isn't an artistic likeness of the President, this is actually millions upon millions of measurements that create a 3-D likeness of the President," explained Adam Metallo, 3-D digitization program officer at the Smithsonian.



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A 3-D printer scanned President Barack Obama on a "mobile light stage" to create a plastic bust of the president – the highest resolution digital model that’s ever been made of a head of state.
obama, 3d, printer, plastic, bust
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2014-54-04
Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 06:54 AM
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