It’s hard to get a lot done in 12 seconds or less. If you are Michael Phelps, you can swim about 80 feet and if you are a Vine fan, you can almost watch two complete clips. Now, if you live in Houston, you can also have a full body scan at Artec’s Shapify Booth at the Memorial City Mall in Houston.
Well, the reward is that the scan can be used to produce a full color figurine known as a ‘Shapie.’ So, rather than a half cocked snapshot you can have a 3D printed sculpture to either keep as your own or give as a gift.
The booth where all this magic happens contains four wide-view, high-resolution Artec scanners that rotate around the person inside in order to capture them from all angles. The level of detail that can be captured by these scanners is such that it will even pick up things like a logo on a shirt or the jersey of your favorite sports team.
The hundreds of images that are generated in this way are then automatically stitched together with Artec’s software and a 3D model is generated from that composite. After the digital model is created, the figurine can then be ordered for print or the model can be purchased and printed on a home desktop 3D printer. President and CEO of Artec 3D, Artyom Yukhin, explained why Houston was selected as the location for this booth:
“Houston has long been a key player in some of the world’s most significant milestones. This started decades ago with the role the city played in the world’s first moon landing and continues today with Houston serving as one of the nation’s leading centers of industry. We’re excited to bring Artec’s professional-grade scanners, the same ones designed for use in the healthcare, aerospace and manufacturing industries, to consumers via the Shapify Booth. It seems only fitting that Houston, with its rich history of scientific advancement, be at the forefront of the 3D technology industry’s evolution.”
Working closely with Artec is the Houston-based 3D services company 3D Makery. For corporate project manager Melissa Wiltraut, the partnership with Artec seemed only natural:
“As newcomers to the 3D scene, we’re thrilled to be working with Artec 3D’s advanced tools and knowledgeable support team to help grow our business. We had heard of the Shapify Booth’s success in other locations and, upon experiencing the technology ourselves, knew it would be a hit in Houston. We are confident customers will embrace this technology. While it’s still wonderful to have collections of photos, the Shapify Booth offers a new way to revisit a memory with a 3D portrait.”
It remains to be seen if 3D portrait printing ever becomes a serious competition for the photograph or if it simply offers an additional way to capture a person’s likeness, earlier reserved only for those with wealth enough to commission sculpture. I shudder to think what it would be like if 3D printed portraits were to replace the generic Christmas photos of people’s children that get sent around every year, but I can easily imagine how it could be a treasured memento for special relationships.
I can almost hear Nickelback singing in a voice filled with nostalgic longing: “Look at these 3D prints…every time I do they make me wince…