GUEST BLOG: Showing the true colours of the next president of America

Last year, the Smithsonian led a project to produce a 3D printed bust of President Obama. It received lots of attention, and was lauded as the 21st Century means to producing a bust for the official National Portrait Gallery collection because 3D printing - over traditional plaster casting techniques - allowed for a much faster and easier bust production process.

However, instead of producing a bust of Obama in full colour, the Smithsonian team produced a typical monochrome model. But since today’s 3D printing technology allows for much greater artistic detail, my company, Mcor, decided to print President Obama in full, photorealistic-colour (see image below on the left). This model communicates infinitely more than monochrome 3D printing, such as facial details, shading, textures and even personality, all of which result in a far more realistic bust than the monochrome 3D print on the right. And, Mcor full-colour 3D printing does so at a fraction of the cost of other 3D printing technology and in a much safer and more eco-friendly manner.

Roll forward to this current American election year and you cannot turn on a TV, listen to the radio, read news online or open a newspaper without seeing or hearing coverage about the US presidential election currently taking place – always posing the question, “who will be the next American president?” While the debate on which candidate will win is always interesting, we thought it would also be interesting to 3D print the next American president – showing all voters their true colours by printing their busts in using our full-colour 3D printers.

Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to personally scan Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, which is typically the most accurate way to capture and ensure facial detail is present in the 3D print. Instead, to create Trump and Clinton 3D models, we collaborated with digital sculpture author, Nikolay Vorobyov, (, who created the digital files using his own interpretation of what Trump and Clinton look like including the colours of their hair, skin, clothes, etc. Then, with an ICC profile we matched correctly Nikolay’s interpretation of the real colours, and prepared the file for printing on our full colour 3D printer.

Mcor 3D printers create complex, durable and stable physical 3D models from paper and the models can be tapped, threaded, hinged, and made water resistant and flexible. We can also match to any pantone colour in a file using our ICC colour maps. This means that the 3D printer will precisely produce industry standard colours as presented in a photographer’s, engineer’s or designer’s photograph, CAD model, scan or illustration. Without it, intended colours are often corrupted.

You can see the end results below, and to our knowledge, we’re the first company to not only 3D print the next American president, but also to expose Donald Trump’s and Hilary Clinton’s true colours (via 3D printing, of course!).

Author profile
Deirdre MacCormack is the chief marketing officer at Mcor Technologies