My cats, Nessa and Freddie

My cats, Nessa and Freddie

I am a lifelong animal lover. It started with Felix the goldfish when I was five years old, and continued with our family parakeets, Chip and Dale. I had a hamster, a small lizard, an extremely fluffy cat, and at one point, much to my mother’s dismay, I had a few cages in my bedroom that housed a total of twelve mice! I am that person at parties who can be found on the floor with the host’s dog or cat, and I’m rather notorious in my family for my vacation habit of being more excited to play with the resident canines at several Michigan wineries than I am about the wine tasting itself!

Luckily, I married a man who loves animals just about as much as I do, and we are the proud owners of two large, goofy dogs and two cats who…mostly…tolerate the dogs. While I have photos of them all near my desk, and I know that it’s possible to 3D print their likenesses into custom cookie cutters, I do sometimes wish, especially in my current line of work, that I had little 3D printed versions of my furry children. So I was most excited to hear about Furever3D, a California-based company that uses 3D digital printing technology to transform photos of your beloved pets into lifelike, full-color figurines or hanging ornaments.

furever-3d-logoThis is the perfect gift for the animal lover in your life, or a unique way to memorialize your pets who have crossed over the rainbow bridge. While this is not the only company that offers to 3D print your pet, it is one of the few I found that 3D prints these figurines in the USA. What’s great about Furever3D is their claim that the whole process is so easy, you can do it all from your cell phone! I was pretty intrigued when I read that…I don’t even have to get up from my couch to get a 3D printed figurine of one of my pets?

Andy the 3D printed dog

Andy the 3D printed dog

Furever3D explains on their website that they “use photos taken of your pet and convert those photos to a topographical map of your pet’s body. We use the photos to get the coat colors, which a scan cannot do. Our 3D printer uses a proprietary mixture of sandstone, gypsum and pixie dust as the substrate of the figurine. Each layer is printed and built-up to a finished product that looks just like your pet. We then remove excess dust from the figurine. It is then treated with a hardener. Et voila, we have created a scale model of your pet in full color with a 3D printer.”

Andy the dog

Andy the real dog

The company utilizes 3D technology, and your photos, to create your pet in miniature form, using their specially developed materials to print a porcelain-like custom animal keepsake, which is then individually modeled by their team of technicians. Once you’ve submitted your photos to the Furever3D website, they will digitize the image, and then email you to make sure there are no changes. Once you’ve given your approval, an exact replica of your pet is 3D printed in realistic color to one of three sizes, all smaller than 12 inches. The whole process should take about two to three weeks. As long as you can actually capture it in pictures, any member of the animal kingdom, be it a cat, a ferret, or even a horse, can be reproduced Furever (ha!).

So, how does it work? Furever3D needs a total of seven (eight if you want your pet standing) full or actual size JPEG pictures of your pet, so they can get your pet’s scale and markings correct. They recommend that you take photos outdoors, but not in direct sunlight, as any shadows will be reflected in the 3D image. While you can send photos to your phone, they ask that you not use cell phone pictures, as higher quality images make better 3D prints. The pictures should be taken at your pet’s level: if they are taken looking down on your pet, the scale is distorted. Also, try to maintain an equal distance away from your pet for all of the pictures. The pictures, and quantities, they need are:

  • a close-up of your pet’s face straight on (1 photo)
  • a close-up of each side of your pet’s face (2 photos)
  • front, behind, and both side views of your pet (4 photos)
  • if your pet is in a standing pose, a photo of your pet looking straight down (1 photo)

Then you’ll need to go to the website, upload your photos, and place your order.

So, how much does it cost to 3D print your pet? The 3″ version will cost you $89, and that’s just without the $25 base; however, if you want your pet 3D printed as an ornament, you won’t need a base. The 5″ miniature will cost $120, and the 7″ one will set you back a whopping $250; I could almost buy a 3D printer and make my own for that much! If you’re interested in 3D printing your horse, it will cost you even more: a 4″ print is $150, the 6″ is $179, and the 8″ is $350. While I don’t know if I love my pets quite that much, this is still a nifty idea, and one that I will keep in mind, especially if they offer a Christmas sale next year.

Watch their video to learn exactly what kind of photos they need to turn your pet into a custom 3D printed figurine.

 

 



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