The White House is certainly in on the idea that 3D printing is taking over the world, and they aren’t fighting that one bit; in fact, the White House is embracing the technology as one of the main elements encased in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curriculum being widely pushed by this administration.
One other thing the White House embraces is the celebration of the holidays, with ornate, elegant decorations. With a grand announcement regarding ‘going digital’ this year for ornaments, many will need to see it to believe it, with so many different fun ideas embracing much of the new technology we’ve seen in recent headlines, with 3D printing front and center.
With the focus on 3D printing for the holiday hoopla at the White House, 3D designers were invited to get in on their plan for decorating by entering the Instructables 3D Printed Ornament Design Challenge (in partnership with the Smithsonian and The White House), with five winners to be chosen with the winning ornament designs having been 3D printed and featured in the White House, where upwards of 65,000 visitors will see them. Five lucky designers were the grand prize winners: Gil Rivera, Vicky Somma, Antar Gamble Hall, Roy Eid and David Moore and Brandy Badami.
Gil Rivera designed an intricate ornament featuring snowflake cutouts which he created using Zbrush, meeting the printing specs for the Shapeways Frosted Ultra Detail material. Gil is a self-taught 3D Artist with a BFA in Graphic Design. He currently works as a freelance designer in New York and New Jersey.
Vicky Somma’s design was very specific in that she was inspired to create an ornament with the Reading Room in the Library of Congress’ Jefferson Building in mind. She had amazing memories from her visit to that particular spot with her family. Vicky has done a stellar job of transposing the beauty of the Reading Room into her ornament design. Originally from Virginia, Vicky now lives in North Carolina and is a computer programmer as well as a web designer and 3D modeler.
With first intentions of making a candy cane ornament, Antar Gamble Hall’s design transformed along the way into a representation of the Presidents of Christmas Past & Present ornament. He honors the White House and our presidents, and 44 stars orbit the ‘Christmas Star’ as a tribute to the 44 Presidents who have graced the White House since 1791.
Roy Eid’s entry was the Star of Bliss, created with mirroring and simplicity, with the idea of ‘how a small act of kindness can transform and spread to create a wonderful final result.’ Eid hopes for peace, at least just for the holidays, stating that ‘we all need to put hatred aside and pay it forward.’
David Moore and Brandy Badami created an ornament (seen below) for 3D Metal Printing in Titanium (Ti64), but state that it can be printed in just about any 3D printing material available to you. The ornament can be clipped onto your Christmas lights to light up the White House inside, or it can also be propped on its base. The design was by David Moore, of Linear Mold & Engineering, Inc., the largest 3D metal printing company in the US. They are headquartered just outside of Detroit.
The winners all received:
- An Instructables prize pack with a robot t-shirt
- Their honor of having their ornament 3D printed and displayed in the White House
- The privilege to have their design join a small collection of White House ornaments in the political history division of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
The chosen designs are currently being displayed on the Smithsonian’s 3D data platform, where they can be downloaded and printed out. Did you vote on any of these designs at Instructables? What do you think of the digital holiday hoopla integrated into the White House decorations this year? Tell us about it in the 3D Printed White House Ornaments forum at 3DPB.com.