Casting an eye over every word I type is a rather huge image of the Barack Obama, this isn’t some kind of americanophile obsession of mine just a TCT banner salvaged from the breakdown of TCT Show + Personalize 2014. On the banner is the front cover of the July issue of TCT, which featured a 3D Printed bust of POTUS.
That bust was created for the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Smithsonian Institute’s digitisation program (covered in depth in this article), using a mixture of photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning.
At the time of writing the piece for the magazine Adam Metallo and Vince Metallo, who were tasked with scanning the president, had to keep their counsel about the project until The White House had signed off on a behind the scenes video. Just six months down the line and we have that very video.
The video details the process President Obama sat through in order to create the 3D model. The inspiration for the project came while the Smithsonian team were scanning the life mask of Abraham Lincoln for the digital collection, the plaster cast model taken of President Lincoln weeks before his death gives a real sense of a physical human being. Instead of Obama having to sit for hours in plaster he can be scanned in minutes and get off to more pressing business of being the leader of the free world.
Barack Obama Behind the Scenes
The president was scanned using a variety of techniques
The 3D printed bust, done in SLS by 3D Systems, was presented at the inaugural White House Maker Faire and will go on to the National Portrait Gallery as the most hi-tech portrait of a president.