back to article Mini-Me, stop humping the 'L-A-S-E-R': New 3D tech can make a Mini-You

The way 3D printing enables ideas to move from the drawing board and become actual objects in a matter of hours has certainly inspired designers. To highlight this point, London-based 3D printer supplier iMakr appealed to visitors' egos at the 100% Design trade show in London's Earls Court this week. iMakr 3D printing examples …


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  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Just a head

    Would mean fewer cameras, quicker rendering and easier automatic reconstruction (most heads are approximately spherical.

    You don't need to scan the body in the same detail as the face/head and you could even choose a body from a pre-calculated library of stock bodies of varying "assets"

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Just a head

      You read my head.

      I think this is a perfect candidate fro franchising.

      1. Professor Clifton Shallot

        Fro franchising

        And maybe even other haircuts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just a head

          Just a head won't capture the beer belly I've been lovingly nuturing for the past 30 years. Almost got it up to show standard and you think I'd want someone elses body!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it OK..

    that I want to do this naked and then have a selection of little outfits to put on my mini-me (and cover up my mini-mini-me)?

    1. Ragarath

      Re: Is it OK..

      Perhaps a little warmer for you mini-mini-(how many layers do we need here)-me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it OK..

      If you are prepared to pay then, yes, that is more than OK.

  3. The_Idiot



    Apparently shiny ... objects often need to be manually handled


    Yes. My hair dresser often has the same issue. Mostly while she's looking for some hair to cut while shielding her eyes from the reflected glare... (blush).

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Er.....

      Right, Personally I think they ought to charge by the square centimetre as I assume body waxers do.

  4. cookieMonster

    Reminds me of the ...

    episode of the Big Bang Theory...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reminds me of the ...

      For those who don't follow the Big Bang Theory TV series here's the episode where they get 3D models of themselves

  5. sisk

    Is it just me...

    or does the idea of dropping 100 units of currency for a miniature replica of yourself seem just a little narcissistic? I mean at 5 or 10 pounds the novelty might be worth it, but really what's the value of having a tiny plastic statue of yourself beyond that? Am I missing something?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it just me...

      It is much more than a little narcissistic.

      Which is why it is so spectacularly stupid / perfectly peng.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Is it just me...

      Why not? It's something very unique to have around as a conversation piece.

      I spent $150 for colored 3D figures of the 3 main astronauts from Kerbal Space Program from Shapeways. They're about the size of a soda can each. So $50 a figure wouldn't be too bad, and this probably takes a lot of time to fix the dataset for printing, unlike the Kerbals, where they just need to hit the print button again.

      They sit in the corner next to my 5ft tall 1/72 scale Saturn V.

    3. anotherfish

      Re: Is it just me...

      I can absolutely guarantee you that as soon as this technology is Kiosk sized there will be one of these in every shopping mall in the Western world. Esp UK and USA.

      Portraiture was incredibly popular in the early years of photography and though I can't be bothered to do the calculations I'd be willing to bet that £100-£200 isn't far off the adjusted mark or lower.

      People will be getting little family sets of themselves and their kids for the mantle piece / coffee table. The family pet. Esp Dog. This is going to go ballistic. I'll take a £100 bet from anyone who thinks otherwise.

    4. Killraven

      Re: Is it just me...

      For just oneself, perhaps, but to do it with your children every few years? Marvelous! To heck with family photos...

  6. Robert Helpmann??

    It's not a doll...

    ... it's an action figure!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not a doll...

      If only. The things I'd do to me . . .

      Come on, I know I want to.

      1. Marvin the Martian

        Re: It's not a doll...

        This will make my voodoo-curse business explode! More precise dolls = more precise control...

        But the obvious market is new parents... Every few months another slightly larger model of their rugrat = captured market ('we already have one every six months for three years, can't stop now!').

  7. Dan Paul

    Still waiting for his Degree????

    Looks to me like this guy doesn't need to wait for anything except loads of VC funding to make his dreams come true.

    The concept of Mini-Me figurines custom made seems like there won't be an iPhoney who will be able to resist the idea. Not a matter of being "Too narcissistic" but exactly on target......

  8. Cliff

    Lots of dots

    44 x 12MPx images seems overkill for something so tiny. Can the printer print at that resolution? Of not it seems a classic car off overcollecting source data. I'd have thought fast would be a major selling point for a vanity spend like this!

    1. cyrus

      Re: Lots of dots

      They're selling the extra detail to the NSA.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lots of dots

      You need the data to get any kind of useful 3D data out of it - it takes way more than one camera pixel to calculate one voxel for the model. I did some structure-from-motion research years ago, and trust me, you want all the overlapping data you can get.

      I'm a bit surprised he didn't put a matte white or even green/blue wrap on the inside of the booth rather than leaving those highly-specular aluminum extrusions (which are responsible for the reflected chunks of dude you see in the point cloud pic) but it may be easier to just discount any points that show up in those areas after the fact.

      I'd be interested to know how he's doing the 3d conversion. It's somewhat gratifying to see that 15 years after I was pounding on the problem, people have yet to solve the specularity issue... ;)

      1. Holtsmark

        Re: Lots of dots

        Here is a link which describes a working open source tool-chain very well:

        The core program is visual sfm:

        I tested it using reduced resolution (as suggested in the article) and the results came out surprisingly well.

        Following the article, the whole tool-chain is surprisingly simple to follow. Add a 3d-printer at the end, and you can set up your own business.

        However, Note that the software requires a non-transparent surface with texture in order to work well.

        A uniform white box tends to end up with only the edges being detected, and with gaps in the sides.

        Have fun!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Holtsmark Re: Lots of dots

          That's nifty - I'm going to have to check it out. My current line of work involves a complex object which basically sits on a servo-controlled rotation table, so it would be quite easy for me to create a big sequence of high resolution, precisely-calibrated images of it... unfortunately the object itself has a lot of specularities and some reflections, but it's probably worth a go anyway. Thanks for the link!

    3. Don Jefe

      Re: Lots of dots

      Eh, for a vanity spend, I think going with the 'super high quality' angle raises the ceiling on sale price vs speed.

      It's easy to let a customer wait, it's even advantageous when it is something custom and "very high quality". He obviously thinks a lot of himself, and being assured of the highest quality only appeals to that: That's going to cost him.

      Besides, the customer doesn't need to know if its overkill or not :)

    4. Mystic Megabyte

      Re: Lots of dots

      You wouldn't want your Stepford wife to be blurry or missing bits.

  9. Don Jefe


    I created my own 100% organic mini-me and it is far superior to these plastic dolls. Mine is fully articulated, has advanced facial and object recognition capabilities and is currently upgrading its spatial reckoning and object manipulation software using its own high-throughput integrated processor and evolving self developed algorithoms. It also contains a nearly infinitely expandable, liquid cooled, data storage array with high efficiency deduplication and data compression utilities.

    I have extremely high hopes.

    1. Graham Marsden

      @Don Jefe - Re: Inferior

      And, as the old joke has it, it was produced by unskilled labour :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Don Jefe - Inferior

        Hey, speak for yourself, Graham - in my case it was definitely skilled... ;)

    2. A J Stiles

      Re: Inferior

      What about the frequent core dumps, though?

      1. Montreal Sean

        Re: Inferior

        The system eventually learns do clean it's own core dumps.

        Some systems learn more quickly than others though.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Would it explode if I went in holding a previously made mini-me

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Recurse?

      The instruction manual plainly states on the Cautions, Hazards and Warnings page not to do that. Why would you tempt fate?

  11. earl grey

    the more detail the better

    I wouldn't want my mini-me to come out looking like Jabba.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Egos have been sated for years or if you prefer. These have been going for at least three years. Admittedly it isn't portable and you need to keep still for a couple of seconds but then it doesn't need 44 DSLRS. Never been tempted myself and neither has my daughter who has never turned down an opportunity to be in front of a camera.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something similar already available in Germany....

  14. b 3

    Pankaj Rauts Mini-Me looks a bit white?!

    3D printing a bit colour blind is it?!

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