Bre Pettis: Actual Size, S, M, L
No sooner do we finish covering Tokyo's Eye of Gyre 3D-printing photo booth, billed as the first in the world, when another company swoops in with a similar product and timing. At today's official Grand Opening of MakerBot's physical storefront, located in Manhattan's NoHo district, company founder Bre Pettis pulled the sheets off of the MakerBot 3D Photo Booth.
It's different than Eye of Gyre's, to be sure; MakerBot's is head-only and monochrome, versus the Harajuku gallery's painted (we assume) full-body shot. But for $5 to sit and $20 to print—or just the fiver if all you need is the scan, to bring home and print yourself—you can have your head immortalized in plastic in "smaller than golf-ball size, golf-ball size, and larger-than-golf-ball size."
The MakerBot Photo Booth's camera rig and attendant software is provided by ShapeShot, a Baltimore-based company that's developed a 123D-Catch-like way of converting 2D photos to 3D data. Click here to manipulate a model of a baby captured using their method.
"This is beyond digital photography—it is the future—and to be able to create a 3D image of yourself is just amazing," said Pettis. "We've had celebrities and musicians come in and get a 3D Portrait made. It's fun, it's inexpensive, and it's totally cool."
Between Japan's Eye of Gyre, America's MakerBot and Spain's previously-seen "Be Your Own Souvenir and 3du (thanks to reader Brian for the tip) getting in on the 3D-printing photo booth game, it doesn't take Nostradamus to see this trend will accelerate. The only question is how far it will go; do you think, for instance, that casting directors will have drawers full of little actor's printed heads in lieu of headshots, and that cops will 3D-print perps rather than do the "Face forward...face left" business? If the latter comes to pass, it'll only be a matter of time before someone leaks the mugshot files, and we'll all get to have one of these on our desk:
Seriously though, I am curious to see what unforeseen usage will emerge from people being able to print their own, or other people's, heads. At the very least that Kids in the Hall guy would have a field day.
The MakerBot Store is located at 298 Mulberry Street, just above Houston.