Economic Development

Chamber Unveils Bobblehead for Display at RNC

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber today unveiled the life-size bobblehead of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, made using additive manufacturing technology.

The 300-lb. bobblehead is being transported this afternoon to Cleveland, where the Republican National Convention will take place next week. Announced by the chamber last month, the bobblehead was produced and designed by Freshmade 3D, a Youngstown Business Incubator startup company, with assistance from Youngstown State University and Humtown Industries in Columbiana.

The idea of the unique artifact is to “expose to the world that the Mahoning Valley is the capital of 3-D printing,” said Guy Coviello, vice president of government affairs at the regional chamber.

The body of the bobblehead took 30 hours to print, said Rich Wetzel, Freshmade 3D co-founder and CEO. The head – which was printed in two pieces, the face and Trump’s distinctive hair – took more than 225 hours.

“This was not really a typical project for us but the process of designing the statue was the same as we would go about designing parts for our normal business,” Wetzel said. “So it fell into line with what we do technically but it was a very, very interesting project for us to take on.”

Publicity from working on the project has been “invaluable” to the company, which uses additive manufacturing to make restoration parts for automobiles, he added. “We’re starting to see ore requests come through our website for automotive parts,” he remarked.

Work already is underway on similar bobblehead modeled on the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Both will be exhibited at the first presidential debate in Dayton in September.

Once it arrives in Cleveland, the bobblehead will go through a Secret Service marshalling yard before being installed at Quicken Loans Arena, the convention site. It will be on display during the convention, which runs Monday through Thursday, in the parking area outside the Q, Coviello said.

Personnel from the chamber, Freshmade and Humtown will be on hand each day with the bobblehead to provide information on 3-D printing technology.

Like many summer travelers, the Trump bobblehead will pause on its journey for photos along the way. “On the way it’s going to maybe make some stops at notable landmarks,” both on the way and at locations in Cleveland such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Coviello said.

The public can follow the bobblehead’s travels at www.3Dprintedprez.com.

Coviello did not know what would happen to the bobbleheads after the election. “What I would like to see ultimately out of this is that whoever wins invites us to the White House and we do a nice news conference and we continue to spread the word that the Mahoning Valley is the capital of 3-D printing,” he said.

In addition to the display, the chamber will host 13 site selectors coming to the region next week. The chamber will take the location professionals to various sites and and host various activities in the Mahoning Valley Monday and Wednesday, and take them to Cleveland Tuesday.

Pictured: Regional Chamber vice president of government affairs Guy Coviello and Freshmade 3D co-founder Rich Wetzel unveiled the bobblehead of Donald Trump this morning.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.