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I have never owned a garden gnome, like those famous for showing up in hilarious and unlikely places all over the world. The closest experience I’ve had to traveling with a gnome is when my sister and I once road tripped half way across the country with a really odd troll statue we had venerated as our road trip mascot. We videotaped the trip from Kansas to Texas, and naturally, the troll was in much of the video: resting at rest areas, eating junk food, dancing to bad music on the radio… We even put him in front of a drinking fountain spout to make it look like he was relieving himself.  It was so much fun, made the trip fly by, and created memories to last a lifetime.

Well, a 3D printing artist is doing a new spin on this old “statue in odd places” theme: he’s posted numerous Instagram photos of a 3D printed mini version of himself in unlikely places. Let’s just take a look at some of these places his mini-me has been!

For starters, Chris Buck is a New York-based celebrity photographer who has already dazzled Time Magazine and other websites with these photographs of his 3D printed mini-me for his Instagram-specific project titled “Likeness.”

And this little guy keeps popping up in the craziest places: opening wide in the dentist’s office chair, stuck beneath a carmini1 tire, nuzzled up to Barbie, hanging out with Lego and Disney figurines, face down in a pile of Popeye’s chicken or a Holiday Inn coffee cup,  in that mesh pocket on the back of airplane seats… He’s floating in water, laying amidst a pile of sticks, plastered with play-doh: the list goes on and on.  And so does the joke of it all!

Buck explains that this 10-inch version of himself was 3D printed after using a DOOB 3D printing pop up in New York City’s Chelsea Market. Once the figurine arrived, he took his mini-me on the road.

“The pictures are a decent reflection of my life. When I fly, he flies,” Buck says. “If I’m at the playground with my daughter, he joins me there. He goes deeper than me of course, and that’s where it gets interesting. I’m the puppet-master, but the puppet gets to have a lot more fun than the guy who pulls the strings. …For most people, Instagram is a fun low-key place to show what you’ve been up to, so I’m doing that in my own weird meta way – a photographer has a 3D photograph of himself and shoots selfies with him.”

r2d2I can see the obsession growing, too. What’s not endlessly entertaining about where this little guy will pop up next?

Buck has even made Star Wars fans happy by including a really tiny R2D2 in a photo, and he claims that the next stop for him and his 3D printed buddy is Disney World… This is obviously a project that will keep on giving for a long time, and I have to say it’s a very refreshing change from an average social media status update. Maybe he’ll take the idea all the way and have that figurine buried with him? Just a (morbid?) thought. As I said before, the places this figurine could go are endless…

Do you have a 3D printed mini-you? Let us know if your selfie has made any fun travels in the 3D Printed Selfie Photos forum thread over at 3DPB.com.  Check out the gallery of some additional images that were taken by Buck below:

 

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