London - If those family photographs only catch your bad side, then how about a memento that captures every angle?
A 3D printing service is allowing people to create “mini-me” versions of themselves.
The 8in ceramic figurines are an exact replica of the person, down to hair and skin colour and even jewellery.
The service is being offered by the British supermarket Asda, which says people might use it to create figurines of their children to send to grandparents. Plans are also in place to create 3D models of pets.
The technology involves passing a handheld scanner around a body, which takes exact measurements of the dimensions.
The system not only maps the contours, but also captures all of the colours of a person’s skin, hair and clothes.
Details such as wedding rings and watches are also picked up.
The scan forms a 3D image on a computer, which is then sent off to the printer where it is turned in to an 8in tall exact replica, complete with colours. Most 3D printers use molten plastic. The sophisticated system from Asda creates the model from powdered ceramic.
The service, which costs £40 (about R600) per model, is being offered by the supermarket chain a store in York with a view to rolling it out around the country. At the moment, the figurines are 8in tall and weigh 250g, however, in future it will be possible to create both smaller and larger versions.
Mark Ibbotson, retail director at Asda, said: “We’re very excited to see how our customers will take advantage of this ground-breaking piece of technology.”
Last week, a 3D home-printer went on sale at Currys and PC World. The Cube, which can make toys, small shoes, kitchen utensils or chess pieces, went on sale for £1 195. Each cartridge of plastic costs £52.80.
However, there are concerns the technology could be used for not such benign purposes, after a Texas law student managed to create – and fire – a plastic gun from parts made with a 3D printer in May this year.
It attracted intense criticism from anti-gun campaigners, especially after the blueprints for the “Liberator” were posted online.
They were eventually taken down but not until after the design had been downloaded 100 000 times. - Daily Mail