3D Printing or Bust


Written by Suzie McCracken
06 Tuesday 06th March 2012

However, under the façade of pioneering medical research and game-changing architecture, the heartbeat of an online community of amateur innovators can be heard. And it’s getting stronger through websites like Thingiverse, where you can upload your designs for anyone to prod, poke and print. So what do these men and women make with this great power that has been bestowed upon them? They make busts. Busts of people you didn’t even realise you needed a bust of. But now these great innovators have pointed it out, it becomes obvious your home should be filled with these monuments to greatness. Here we have cherry-picked the best of what’s on offer, so perhaps you will look at yourself in the mirror tomorrow and think, “What can I do to be immortalised in ABS (or PLA) plastic?”.


We've all squeezed something akin to the Für Elise out of the piano in the music classroom, and now you can do so under the watchful and rather grumpy-looking gaze of the composer himself. With nine symphonies, seven concertos, thirty two piano sonatas and many more besides tucked firmly under his belt, Ludwig was unequivocally, a total boss. Plus, he’s named after that awesome St Bernard dog in that film from the 90s. Now you can create a likeness of this esteemed man via your 3D printer in no time at all using almost as many sheets of plastic as there are layers in his orchestral scores.

Thom Yorke

Surely the Beethoven of his generation [citation needed], you can now immortalise the self-proclaimed creep with this Han Solo style head, vaguely reminiscent of the cover of The Bends. Radiohead famously released In Rainbows as a pay-what-you-want download, and nothing fits more with this open source spirit than a 3D rendering of their principle warbler’s face. In the spirit of Yorke I ask you to download the file and proclaim, “OK Computer, you can do this.”

Stephen Colbert

Stateside satire-slinger Stephen Colbert made this model of himself using a 3D scanner, and has encouraged the viewing public to add his mug to any household object, up to and including mugs. The beauty of this bust is that since it came straight from the man himself, there has been the opportunity for evolution. The Thingiverse community has stepped up to the challenge, creating some rather disturbing versions of the model. Notable examples include an inverse Stephen, a Colbert T-Rex, and what appears to be a Bo-Selecta Bear variation. You can also watch this time lapse of the printing process for the original. Your shrine to a man that’s not culturally relevant in Britain is finally ready to go!


The Ancient Greek poet and sexually ambiguous siren Sappho needn’t worry about only fragments of her work surviving into the twenty first century. A picture tells a thousand words, so a bust made of ABS must tell hundreds of thousands. Hailing from the Isle of Lesbos, her likeness has already been crafted in many a material, but we reckon this thoroughly ahead-of-her time lady would go ape for her most recent incarnation. Perhaps if you do give this print-job a whirl you should hold a toga party to make her feel more at home.


Ontario native Deadmau5 is surely one of the most notable persons on this list, with a career spanning over seven prolific years which have produced five studio albums. Not only revered for his own brand of “Oh, that one” hits, but also for introducing the world to the hairstyle with a man attached, Skrillex. The party can only truly begin when the effigy of this man resides over your dancefloor. Remember not to pop any pills before he’s finished printing though, otherwise you may mistake the sound of the machine for one of his albums.

Have you printed any of these with your 3D printer? Do any Don't Panic readers even own a 3d printer?








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