Printing the President’s Face: 3D Scanning

describe the imageThis week (December 2014), using some of the most advanced camera and laser scanning technologies, “[a] bust of President Obama was created by a Smithsonian-led team of 3D-digital-imaging specialists, Autodesk and 3D Systems, in collaboration with the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies” (

The inspiration for this project comes from the “life masks” that were  created from presidents of the past, where plaster was pressed into their face to create lifelike molds.

Autodesk and the scanning software used in the video are quite familiar to us. Autodesk is an American multi-national corporation that makes software for numerous industries, and is well known throughout the surveying and engineering world for their AutoCAD and 3D Scanning software products.

With the 3D scan of the president’s face, industrial-grade 3D printers are used to print an extremely detailed bust of the president. You can read more at the Whitehouse’s blog:

Also, check out the video below explaining the whole process in-depth, courtesy of The White House.