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Doob 3D Could Replace the Photo Industry with Real-Life Sculptures

For cen­turies, peo­ple com­mis­sioned painters to cre­ate por­traits of them or their fam­i­lies to hang on the walls (if they could afford to do so). The inven­tion of pho­tog­ra­phy brought this lux­u­ry of self-admi­ra­tion to the mass­es.  As cam­eras became com­mon­place every­one began snap­ping pho­tos at wed­dings, hol­i­days, and oth­er impor­tant events. Then came the dig­i­tal age, the cam­era phone, and final­ly the smart­phone, and sud­den­ly there were bil­lions of pic­tures and videos being tak­en and post­ed online daily.

And as we all know, a huge chunk of these were — or rather are, since we’re now up to date — self­ies. We’ve been spend­ing time look­ing at our­selves since mir­rors were invent­ed, and the dom­i­na­tion of self­ies across image shar­ing sites shows that this habit isn’t going any­where soon. But like every­thing else in life, tech­nol­o­gy keeps rein­vent­ing and chang­ing how we do things. In this case, how we admire ourselves.

After all, pho­tos are so last cen­tu­ry. It’s time we were able to admire our­selves in new and bet­ter ways. Doob 3D, a 3D print­ing com­pa­ny, agrees. The Dus­sel­dorf-based busi­ness now has four 3D scan­ning booths set up in the US — two in New York and one each in Los Ange­les and San Fran­cis­co.  In addi­tion to more loca­tions around the world where peo­ple can have their image cap­tured by rows of cam­eras.  Then trans­lat­ed by pro­pri­etary 3D soft­ware, and ulti­mate­ly turned into 3D print­ed repli­cas. Yes, you can have your own action figure.

The repli­cas are extreme­ly detailed and life­like, as you can see on their web­site. A small repli­ca (think Star Wars action fig­ures) runs $95, a 10 inch ver­sion jumps to $395, and a GI Joe-sized repli­ca will run you $695. Sounds a lit­tle expen­sive for an action fig­ure, but the tech­nol­o­gy isn’t cheap. A booth uses  54 DSLRs, 54 lens­es, a com­plex 3‑D mod­el­ing pipeline, and an $80,000 full-col­or 3‑D print­er. That does­n’t even include the room-size scan­ning booth. Once your image had been cap­tured and approved by you, you can expect to receive your 3D repli­ca in a few weeks since they’re print­ed over­seas and even the small­est ver­sion takes hours to pro­duce. And of course there’s a queue.

One of the most pop­u­lar uses for Doob’s prod­uct has become wed­ding cake top­pers that are iden­ti­cal to the bride and groom. If you’re the ulti­mate self-absorbed per­son, you can even order a life-size mod­el — though that can run up to $75,000. 3D print­ing tech­nol­o­gy is now being used for every­thing from mak­ing tools to build­ing homes.  Why not life­like repli­cas of our­selves instead of bor­ing old pictures?

Doob is one of the few com­pa­nies cur­rent­ly bring­ing 3D print­ing tech­nol­o­gy to the con­sumer mass­es, which is a good thing. The tech­nol­o­gy holds immense promise for chang­ing and improv­ing the way we do and pro­duce almost any­thing, but to date has most­ly been more of a vague notion to most peo­ple. If 3D print­ing is one of the future-build­ing tech­nolo­gies you’ve con­sid­ered pur­su­ing as a career, Doob might just be your entry­way into that career.

(source: Doob3d)

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