There are few niche markets more successful or lucrative than the one directed at pet owners. According to the ASPCA, an estimated 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Then there are the rodents, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians. We love our pets, and we love to buy things for them, so it’s no surprise that a good chunk of the 3D printing industry is directed at animal lovers.
Not only do people like to 3D print things for their pets, they also like to 3D print their pets. Whether an animal has passed away, or is simply missed while its owner is at work, 3D printed pet replicas have become a way for animal owners to have the presence of their pets with them at all times. We recently wrote about 3D printed pet memorials; now, a Japanese company is offering its own brand of 3D printed pet replicas (in addition to Japanese company Ringpet that turns your beloved pet into a 3D printed ring). Last week, Tokyo-based 3D Petshop Inc. announced that its customized 3D printed pets will now be available to be shipped worldwide.
3D Petshop offers personalized prints of their customers’ pets, based on photographs submitted by the owners. What makes them stand out among other similar services, they claim, is their ability to produce an accurate 3D printed figurine of your pet with any facial expression or pose. For example, you can submit a picture of your dog sitting on the couch, but request a print of him running, and the company promises to create a sprinting figurine that captures his unique likeness, regardless of whether or not your dog has ever run in his life. (I know plenty who haven’t, or at least not for many, many years.)
“At 3D PETSHOP, each and every 3D model is created by the designers’ own hands,” the company states. “Unlike mechanical 3D scanning, our 3D modeling process will recreate your pet’s unique personality and warmth.”
3D Petshop prints its figurines in full color using plaster, and customers are asked to give final approval of all details in the digital model before the print is made. Currently, they are only offering prints of cats and dogs, so hedgehog or iguana lovers will need to look elsewhere. Their prints definitely don’t come cheap: a small figurine, defined as 2.4 to 2.7 inches long, is $350, while a medium (3.5 to 3.9 inches long) is $470, and a large, at 4.7 to 5.1 inches long, is $600.
Currently, however, they are offering promotional rates of 20% off until November 30th, with free shipping included. And considering that some pet lovers will pay hundreds of dollars to have their pets taxidermied after they pass away, memorializing them with customized, lifelike 3D printed figurines for a similar price seems like a decent alternative. Check out their gallery for more examples of 3D printed pets.
Have you used this service yet? Let us know in the 3DPetshop forum thread on 3DPB.com.