Patriotic Duty

3D Print a Patriotic Bust to Celebrate 4th July

Patriotic bust

Do you LOVE America? Of course you do! Celebrate the 4th July weekend with a 3D printed patriotic bust of Obama, Washington, or Snowden.

This 4th July weekend, the United States celebrates Independence Day, that momentous occasion where this great nation overthrew their imperial overlords (the British Empire) in a spat over the price of tea.

It’s a time to be proud of America and the values it represents. And what better way to ornament your buffet of hot dogs and Freedom Fries than with a patriotic bust?

Here’s a list of our favorites, plus a BONUS item to make your 3D printer play the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’.

Mount Rushmore Redux

Moutn Rushmore Redux. Look Closely.
Moutn Rushmore Redux. Look Closely.

This is a 3D printed relief of Mount Rushmore, but with a strange twist.

Look closely. See anything… odd? That’s right. Normally you’d expect to see the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln on this epic monument. But this version has dropped Washington and Roosevelt and replaced them with Reagan and Clinton. It’s like something out of The Twilight Zone.

Can’t quite fathom why they were switched out, or what the basis of their selection was. But it’d make a pretty interesting conversation when roasting marshmallows around the campfire. Who would you choose for your personal Mount Rushmore?

The STL files are available to download from YouMagine as part of the Ultimaker USA pack.


Benjamin Franklin Bust

Franklin Bust
Franklin Bust

One of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is famous for running through the middle of an epic thunderstorm with a kite.

Ostensibly it was an experiment to test the conductivity of electricity. But we like to think it was a moment of youthful exuberance.

Also, because Franklin’s face adorns the hundred dollar bill, he’s constantly name-checked in hip hop culture. “It’s all about the Benjamins, yo.”

This 3D printed bust is actually a 3D scan of a sculpture that resides in the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

It’s part of a larger project on MyMiniFactory called “Scan The World”, a non-profit initiative to create a digital archive of fully 3D printable sculptures, artworks and landmarks for the public to access for free.

Barack Obama Patriotic Bust

Patriotic Bust of Obama? Yes We Can!
Patriotic Bust of Obama? Yes We Can!

The 44th President of the United States, who is our featured image for this story, is tastefully rendered in a low-polygon style while still bringing out his recognisable features. We particularly like the ears.

Also cool about this patriotic bust is how it adopts President Obama’s famous slogan “Yes We Can” for the Maker Generation. The words “YES WE MAKE” are carved into the plinth.

The STL files are available to download from YouMagine as part of the Ultimaker USA pack.

George Washington Bust

Crowdsourced Patriotic Bust
Crowd-sourced Patriotic Bust

The original Commander in Chief, George Washington also occupies a unique position in 3D printing history.

The neoclassical bust of Washington by Giuseppe Ceracchi, which resides in Baltimore, was chosen by We The Builders for their first ever crowd-sourced 3D printing project. The sculpture was 3D scanned and sliced into 110 parts. Volunteers were allocated a chunk to 3D print and mail it in for final assembly.

The final result is colourful, to say the least. And perhaps a missed opportunity to 3D print his mouth with wood filaments. Why? Because according to legend, Washington had a set of false teeth made from wood.

Sadly, this project is done and dusted. But you can attempt to 3d print the whole thing at home if you like. Or you can sign up to the WTB mailing list to participate in the next crowd-sourced 3D print job.

Edward Snowden Bust

Edward Snowden: Hero or Villain?
Edward Snowden: Hero or Villain?

Rounding out our list, we have a patriotic bust of Edward Snowden, World Champion Whistle-blower.

The impact of his revelations about the NSA are still being felt today. To some folks, he’s a villain. To others, he’s a hero. Because of his spirited fight against the overweening tendrils of state surveillance, we think he’s a fitting subject for a 3D print job this 4th July weekend.

This is an adapted model of the bust that was erected (and then swiftly taken down) from Fort Green Park, Brooklyn as part of an art installation.

Not to be deterred, the 3D models have been made available on several model repository sites, and Snowdenites around the world are encouraged to grace their mantel with this tribute to their hero.

BONUS ITEM: National Anthem GCode

One more thing. Did you know that you can use your 3D printer as a musical instrument?

The technical explanation is that when the stepper motors in a 3D printer are told to move, they emit a tone that’s relative to the speed of the motor. Thus, you can use GCode to make it produce music — but nothing useful by way of 3D printed models!

As part of the Ultimaker USA pack, you can download a GCode file that plays the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, the national anthem of the United States. It should work on some other printer models too, your mileage may vary.

Fire it up and stand to attention, like a true believer in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Happy 4th of July!