Saturday, January 25, 2014

3D Printer to make Mini-Me

We all know that 3D printers can make images of just about anything you can imagine, but one smart company in Scotland is offering customers the ability to have their very own mini-me. They have been offering the service for a while, and are now testing the market for this service in a local supermarket.  That’s right, you can go in to pick up your fruits and veggies, make a quick pit stop in the 3D printer booth, and leave the store with a small replica of yourself.

Creepy?  Maybe at first, but is it really much different than taking a photograph?  Back in the early days of 2D photography there were many people who were hesitant to have their picture taken.  Some people thought it captured the soul in the image.  Today, of course, our pictures are often taken dozens or hundreds of times each day (sometimes without our knowledge).  In the future, it can be predicted that 3D images will be almost as common.

A Mini-Me?
While the marketing angle for a mini-me is easy to follow, there are actually many different reasons why people will love this ability.  Print off a 3D replica of dad before he goes off for military duty, and children will have something they can actually hold.  Before and after pictures for weight loss will take on a whole new dimension (literally).  The company is even able to make 3D replicas of a fetus from information gathered during an ultra sound (thought this option won’t likely be available inside a supermarket.)

Clearly, there are many different reasons why people would want to have a 3D scan of them done, and then printed off.  One interesting use that the company offering this service commented on was a couple preparing for their wedding day.  They can each come in and have their replicas printed off for use as wedding cake toppers.  No more generic husband and wife, you can have your actual figurine standing on top.

This is just one more example of how 3D printing is already changing the way we look at the world.  As the technology continues to advance, these types of imaging booths will be available in many more locations around the world, and eventually even in our own homes.

What would you think about having a 3D image of yourself or a loved one printed off?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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