The Mini Me

Taking “me” to a whole new dimension with this 3D printed “Mini Me”. I had a 3D scan of myself done last November at the 3D Print Show in London.  When the STL file arrived, I couldn’t wait to get it on the printer.

It is quite spooky to see yourself emerge from the feet up on a Makerbot and then to hold yourself in your hands. The quality is excellent – you can see the crease in my jeans and the stitching on my jacket. Even in one colour, it is very recognisable as me.

What I love is the fact it is a real talking point. I take my “Mini Me” to parties, trips away and even to a funeral. It is often the first time anyone has seen a 3D printed object, that in itself is a novelty. I get a chance to talk about 3D printing and I have a queue of friends and family wishing to come and have a look at the workshop.

Of course, there are a few down-sides. It takes “does my bum look big in this” to a whole, new level. Is this really how other people see me?  I have only ever seen myself in 2 dimensions, as have most of us. I’m not sure I like what I see.  I’d certainly like to compare my Mini Me to other people’s.

And what of the future? It is possible to obtain a full colour version but they are very expensive just now. In the short term, anyone can print themselves out, they only need a scan and an STL file. If you have your own printer, go for it. If not, upload your file to a bureau to print – we are happy to do it for you. Longer term, scanning facilities need to become more easily accessible and full colour 3D print costs need to come down (currently, about £250). When that happens, the Mini Me might start to replace the family photo. Imagine – a full colour print of your family on the mantelpiece! As an aside, child and pet scans may be a while off- the subject needs to sit still for a few minutes!

In the meantime, you can have some fun with the novelty of your Mini Me!