The first time we heard about a photo-booth that gives customers 3-D printed figurines rather than photos of themselves, it was a pop-up in Japan. Is the business model ready for a full-time, brick and mortar business? Startup Twinkind in Hamburg, Germany, thinks so: they opened up a studio in mid-June that will let anyone get a 3D-printed figurine version of themselves, whenever they want.
"We believe 3-D photo figurines will become a serious alternative to 'conventional’ portraits," founders Kristina Neurohr and Timo Schaedel write in a statement. "Part of the fascination is certainly the tactile experience—something hardly given by any other photography-related media. We can transfer a stunning level of details into the figurines," including facial expression, textured hair, and draping clothes.
technology process works very similarly to that of the Japanese pop-up. Show up and get scanned with a 3-D body scanner. The computer renders a 3-D model, which is then sent to a full-color 3-D printer. Two to five weeks later, the figurine is ready. The one major innovation is that Twinkind claims to have developed a new 3-D scanner that reduces the amount of time the subject must pose from 20 minutes to just seconds.
The upside of this other than reduced wait times? It makes it pet friendly. The downside? Prices for 15 to 35 centimeter figurines start at 225 euros.