Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington and Jefferson may have had their legends set in stone, very literally, on Mount Rushmore with some heavy-duty subtractive manufacturing, but Obama’s 3D likeness model is much more up-to-date and doesn’t use copious amounts of dynamite.
The Smithsonian institute used their scanning and printing abilities to create three-dimensional portraits of President Barack Obama for his section in the National Portrait Gallery, which has multiple images of each US President throughout the ages.
A bust and life mask were on display at the first ever White House Maker Faire, which celebrated and signified a huge step into the mainstream for the Maker Movement.
The Smithsonian-led team scanned the President earlier this year using two distinct 3-D documentation processes. Experts from the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies used their “Light Stage” face scanner to document the President’s face from ear to ear in high resolution. Next, a Smithsonian team used handheld 3-D scanners and traditional SLR cameras to record peripheral 3-D data to create an accurate bust.
The data captured was post-processed by 3-D graphics experts at the software company Autodesk to create final high-resolution models. The life mask and bust were then printed using 3D Systems’ Selective Laser Sintering printers.
Perhaps in years to come the Smithsonian’s scan data could be used to carve a fifth face into the South Dakotan landmark…