According to 3D System’s Chief Creative Officer, Will.I.Am, one day we will be 3D printing entire human beings. Sure, if this is ever actually possible, we are likely still decades, or even centuries away from such a feat. With that said, it’s not too early to start thinking about 3D printing inanimate human beings, at least from a Madame Tussauds, life-sized figure type of approach.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people visit one of the 14 worldwide Madame Tussauds attractions. Their primary goal? Take pictures with their favorite stars and then post those pictures on Facebook as if they are bumping shoulders with royalty. Well, at least that’s what I did when I paid a visit to Madame Tussauds, Hollywood a couple years back.
For those who don’t know, each and every sculpture that’s present in these museums are hand carved out of clay by artists who have incredible talent, before they are eventually cast with wax. To get an idea of how long it takes to sculpt these incredible pieces, a typical set of eyeballs will take around 10 hours to create, and a head of hair can take up to 6 months worth of work. Just like all things, however, technology may eventually make this art form a thing of the past.
In comes 3D printing, and its capability of fabricating objects based on 3D scans to accuracies which are in the microns. Better yet, one Japanese company called Fasotekku is using this technology to — you guessed it — make life-sized sculptures of human beings.
Just like here in America, baseball season is just kicking off in Japan as well. In fact, baseball is nearly as popular in Japan as it is here. As a promotion to help kick off the season, Fasotekku has taken 3D scans of a player for the Chiba Lotte Marines, 25-year-old infielder, Daichi Suzuki. They then turned these scans into a life-size 3D print of the ball player, using advanced 3D printers.
The 3D printed Suzuki was placed at Gate D at QVC Marine Field, where fans are able to pose with the life-sized replica, take pictures, and show off in front of their friends and families. As for what Suzuki himself thinks of his life-sized action figure, he used just one word to describe it, “Amazing!”
As for when Madame Tussaud museums will be replaced with 3D Printed sculptures, I’m willing to wager it won’t be for a while. People are still intrigued by the incredible art form of making these types of sculptures by hand. After all, a machine’s sculpting is not nearly as captivating as the months of tedious work required by hand carvings.
Have you happened to see the Suzuki sculpture up close and personal? What were your thoughts? Did it look like him? Discuss in the 3D Printed Baseball Player forum thread on 3DPB.com.