When I was a kid, the best way to show your support for a baseball team was by wearing their jersey or their colors and buying a ticket to their game. I was raised in a Yankees household and I still have a picture of me and my grandfather in the stands at the stadium wearing pin-stripe t-shirts. That was a while ago though and die-hard fans aren’t satisfied with just pictures anymore. Now, Detroit Tigers fans can satisfy their craving to mark their loyalty by having a full-color 3D printed figurine made of themselves at the ballpark.
The opportunity is being provided by a temporary booth set up by the Brooklyn-based company Doob. The booth has been converted into a full body scanner, affectionately called “the doob-licator.” When a fan steps into the booth, their image is captured by 54 high-definition Canon EOS digital cameras which are blended together to create a 3D model. That digital file is then sent back to Doob’s production facility in Brooklyn and used to create a full color figure from powder resin polymer, called a “doob.” As an added benefit, the team mascot, Paws, has already been scanned so a person can have their figurine printed with him (a duo-doob I guess you could call it).
Currently, they are averaging about 10 figurines per game as part of a pilot program to determine if this type of offering might make it to other Major League Baseball parks in 2016. Doob’s president, Michael Anderson, said it was no accident that they decided to do the test run at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
“People have very strong emotional connections to their sports teams and their cities,” Anderson said. “It made a lot of sense to put a scanner in Detroit and go though this initial phase in one city. It has amazing attendance. There tends to be a bit of focus on the innovation we can bring; the Tigers were excited about that. It’s a very emotional type product, it’s not about the novelty.”
If this process continues to generate the excitement it has received up to this point, the next step for Doob would be to scan the individual team players so that fans could choose to have their printout with any player they would like. This is quite a step up from throwing an arm around a cardboard cutout and posing for a snapshot.
For under $100 Doob will create a 4″ ‘buddy’ version of the scan. If you’re willing to double that, they’ll print it at 6″ and if money is no object, dropping $695 will get you a 14″ print. This is still significantly cheaper than the $10,000 price tag that used to come with the production of such an item. Doob offers five different heights for the figures.
Fans seemed impressed with the possibility but somewhat wary of the price; after all, pictures are so inexpensive. However, if you’ve been looking to spend a little on a centerpiece that will truly be a conversation starter or something to give the die-hard fan who already has everything else, this might just be the best option there is. Once the scan has been sent, it takes about 18 hours for it to print and another week for it to cure, but once it is done, it’s a creation to last a lifetime.
Who knows, they just might end of having to change the lyrics to “Take me out to the ballgame” – after all, this is way cooler than peanuts and cracker jacks. Tell us what you think of this sort of memorabilia in the 3D Printed Detroit Tigers forum thread over at 3DPB.com.