The White House goes DIY with this year’s holiday ornaments

In preparation of the 2014 holiday season, the White House recently announced its first-ever 3D-Printed Ornament Challenge. The contest, which was a collaboration with the Smithsonian, encouraged Makers, artists, designers and engineers alike to design a winter-inspired ornament.


After receiving more more than 300 creative and whimsical submissions, 20 innovative designs were selected as finalists, with five of these creations chosen to be displayed in the White House, including the main tree in the Blue Room. Following the holiday, the ornaments will join a collection at the National Museum of American History.

In the footsteps of its inaugural White House Maker Faire, the 3D-Printed Ornament Challenge continues to layer upon the Administration’s initiative in spurring the Maker Movement. If you recall, President Obama explained that “Today’s D.I.Y. is tomorrow’s Made in America.” To support the future of American innovation, the Administration is also working to establish more opportunities for young Makers to engage in hands-on learning of STEM disciplines. This will allow these future engineers and designers to turn their creativity into products, all while continuing to develop advanced manufacturing capabilities domestically using devices like the [Atmel based] MakerBot Replicator 2 as well as a number of RepRap 3D printers.

So, without further ado, here are the chosen finalists….

Library of Congress


Maker: Vicky Somma, Occoquan, Virginia

“The design for Vicky’s entry was inspired by one of her family’s favorite destinations in Washington, D.C. — the Reading Room in the Library of Congress’ Jefferson Building.”

Winter Snowflakes


Maker: Gil Rivera, Montclair, New Jersey

“This intricately designed ornament of interlocking snowflakes evokes the beauty that comes with frosty winters.”

Stars of Bliss


Maker: Roy Eid, Houston, Texas

“Much like the way this ornament was created, through the mirroring and patterning of a simple line, the Star of Bliss signifies how a small act of kindness can transform and spread to create a wonderful, positive outcome.”

Presidents of Christmas Past and Present


Maker: Antar Gamble Hall, New York, New York

“The 44 stars featured around the ornament pay homage to the 44 presidents which have led this great nation.”

Winter Wonderland of Innovation


Makers: David Moore and Brandy Badami, Livonia, Michigan

“Surrounding the White House in this ornament, are simple aspects of the holidays including a fully decorated tree, an imaginary sleigh that can take the First Family on evening strolls, a snowman and a sled.”

Want to see more? You can also check out the ornaments being printed in the video below!

Not only the everyday do-it-yourselfer, but the United States government has made an investment in technology as of late. Most notably, the Smithsonian is now using 3D to digitize iconic objects in its collection — and have even created the bust of President Obama. Meanwhile, NASA in partnership with Made In Space recently launched Zero-G, which led to the very first 3D-printed object in space, while the National Institutes of Health debuted its 3D Print Exchange, allowing individuals to freely upload or download scientific 3D printable models for research and education.


As the new year quick nears, we can only imagine what the future holds for this megaAVR and Atmel | SMART powered industry!

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