Smithsonian Displays 3D-Printed Bust of President Obama

obama 3d bust

Watch out, Madame Tussaud’s: the Smithsonian is stocking up on strikingly lifelike likenesses. President Obama is the subject of the first presidential portraits created from 3D scan data, and the works–including a 3D-printed bust and life mask–are on display through December 31 in the Smithsonian Castle’s Commons gallery. To create the eerily accurate bust, a Smithsonian-led team thoroughly scanned the President earlier this year using a Light Stage face scanner (courtesy of the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies), handheld 3-D scanners, and traditional single-lens reflex cameras. The data and the printed models are part of the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, where they join less high-tech life masks, including one of George Washington created by Jean-Antoine Houdon and two of Abraham Lincoln created by Leonard Wells Volk (1860) and Clark Mills (1865).