Election 3D Printer


The 2016 election had many twists and turns and deserved an equally tightly wound election night. The Post unspooled the vote for president on Facebook Live using a pair of Makerbot Replicator+ 3D printers to track the electoral votes. Each printer had a different color filament — like a thicker plastic thread — and building blue and red colored models of the White House.

Each White House was divided into 270 parts, one for each electoral vote needed to win the presidency. As the Associated Press called states, the printer added the appropriate number of layers to the model. For example, when Kentucky was called for Republican Donald Trump the red printer added about 3% more to its model. But that’s not all. The Post had a professional illustrator coloring in states and tracking the votes needed to win live as the printers worked.

At the end of the night, the red White House was complete and 1600 Pennsylvania will knew its next occupant.