Many of us have grown up playing with toy figurines of superheroes and action figures of GI Joe. But what if you could include a figurine of yourself in your collection? Well if you are interested and have NZ$30-50 to spare, you could soon be holding a mini-you in the middle of your palm.
Auckland-based startup Smallworlds, founded by Ian Lopez, is working on a 3D scanning and printing model which can scan you and then print you — a mini version of you, to be precise. “We use equipment that captures the subject in 3D from every angle and creates a realistic model. I’ve been testing this technology for the past year and officially launched the business in November last year. Currently, the printing is being done by our partners at a company called Shapeways, based in the US, but in the future I would like to get that done locally,” Lopez was quoted as saying by The New Zealand Herald.
Lopez’s company charges people NZ$30-50 for printing a 3D version of themselves, depending on their sizes. “For a basic individual scan we charge $30 and then the cost of printing varies depending on the subject. For example, an eight year-old boy would cost less to print than an adult, due to the amount of materials used. The average one is about 14 centimetres in height and generally costs between NZ$35-50,” Lopez was quoted as saying.
Instead of the consumers coming in, the company goes out, using a portable setup, to live shows, parties, exhibitions, houses, workplaces, or wherever the customer wants them to be.
Lopez had first started toying with 3D scanning when he was a multimedia and animation teacher. His first test subject was his daughter when she turned six.
“I got a miniature printed of her and it was mind-blowing to see a small model of her six-year-old self. From there, I decided to keep experimenting, I got some new equipment and started doing more scans of her until she was 10, so that I had this progression of her growing up, and not just in photos – in three dimensional forms,” Lopez told The New Zealand Herald.