Feature

The 3D printing photo booth that turns you into an action figure

A simple strip of photos? So yesterday. A Japanese company is taking things to another level by turning posers into tiny figurines

The story: The world's first 3D-printer photo booth will soon be open for business. Unlike traditional booths that spit out 4-panel strips of candid snaps, Omote 3D will transform the likenesses of subjects into tiny, anatomically accurate, full-length figurines (see examples below). Posers must stand still for 15 minutes while an employee manually operates a 3D scanner to take their "picture." The process of near-instantly toy-ifying yourself isn't cheap: A 4-inch figurine will set you back $265, while an 8-inch model will go for $530. The popularity of three-dimensional printing — which has been used to create everything from prosthetics to, more controversially, fully operational firearms — has exploded in recent years. Omote 3D, which opens as a pop-up shop in Tokyo on Nov. 24, will offer single, double, or group portraits... and even "reprints," on request.  

The reaction: Holding any pose, even a relatively unadventurous one, for 15 minutes while scanners take in your data, says Andrew Webster at The Verge, "could lead to some inevitable stiffness." I guess that's a "small price to pay for the novelty of a 3D-printed you." And just imagine "what you could do with a little version of yourself," says Amanda Kooser at CNET. "You could finally battle your He-Man action figures," or even "paint it gold and make a personalized trophy statuette." The possibilities are endless. Take a look:

Credit: omote3d.com

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