President Obama gets 3-D printed likeness

By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   Updated Dec. 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Presidential portraits have taken a futuristic turn.

President Barack Obama recently sat down to become the first president to have his likeness rendered by a 3-D printer.

Inspired by the creation of President Abraham Lincoln's life mask, the Smithsonian Institution had the president sit down to have his likeness scanned by structured 3-D light scanners while his likeness was captured by eight sports photography cameras and six wide-angle cameras under the brightness of 50 custom-built LED lights.

The scans were then put into the computer and sent to the 3-D printer that produced the bust of the 44th President of the United States.

"It's about a broader trend that's going on and that is the third industrial revolution. It's a combination of the digital world and the physical world that is allowing students and entrepreneurs to go from idea to prototype in the blink of an eye," said Tom Kalil of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Obama was filmed after the printing walking around his printed self in a White House video.

The bust can be seen at the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

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