The Blue Room of the world famous White House is now home to the official White House Christmas Tree as part of the festive décor of the beautiful building. Taking a historical tradition right into the digital age, this year 3D printing is playing a part in a unique interactive holiday experience. Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the winners of the first White House 3D Printed Ornament Challenge have been announced!
Back in October, when the first seasonable products began to adorn the shelves of many a retail outlet, the White House announced the 3D Printed Ornament Challenge in partnership with the Smithsonian Museum, the latest in a series of Smithsonian 3D printing events. Innovators, makers and students from across the United States were invited to create their own 3D printed decorative adoration of the winter season and Christ’s birth. Of the many hundreds of entries for this presigious opportunity, twenty designs were selected as finalists,and the five most innovative and beautiful 3D prints went on to be selected for display in the White House itself.
The 3D Printed Ornament Challenge builds upon other White House 3D printing projects such as this year’s first White House Maker Faire, during which President Obama himself iterated that “Today’s D.I.Y. is tomorrow’s Made in America.” The highest ever resolution print of a political leader was also recently made at the White House in the form of a Presidential bust for Mr. Obama.
Other U.S. federal agencies are also using 3D printing tech, such as NASA’s recent announcement of the arrival of the first 3D printer in space arriving at the Internaional Space Station — specially designed to be used in a zero gravity; and the National Institute of Health’s launch of its 3D Print Exchange, enabling the free upload anddownload of scientific 3D printable models for education and research.
The final five ornament designs were printed in 3D and are now hung proudly on display in the White House. The designs will also appear on the Smithsoniant 3D X platform, and become part of the Political History division of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.