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Lincoln Life Mask

One of my first prints was of Abraham Lincoln's life mask. Technically the model I downloaded was a laser scan of a plaster copy of the 1865 Clark Mills original (currently residing in the Smithsonian) so it's several degrees removed from Honest Abe's actual face. Nonetheless, it's still pretty amazing to be able to hold this object and think there's a real connection, however tenuous, to the 16th president of the United States.

This print is also when I first started paying attention to infill settings. In this case it's a honeycomb pattern, and I picked the spacing more for how it looked than anything else. Over the last year I've learned when and how the interior density of an object makes a difference, which I'll cover in a later post.

I printed this at 0.2mm layer height resolution* , and I'm sure if I printed it again at 0.1mm it would solve the small gaps on his nose and at the top of his head.


* Resolution in 3D printing typically desscribes how "thick" each layer is, measured on the Z (vertical) axis. It's helpful to think of this kind of 3D printing as stacking melted plastic threads on top of each other to build objects. Resolution in this case, means whether the threads are thick like twine (low resolution), or fine like dental floss (high resolution).

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