Portland company prints a 3-D mini-me

Portland company prints 3-D replicas of you

Take a walk through Washington Square Mall these days, and you might notice the spinning space-like set-up, the confused crowds and, oh yeah, and the tiny village of frozen figurines.

All of them are actual, detailed mini-me's, or "Shapies", of real people, brave enough to step into the 'Artec Shapify Booth'.

"It's exciting," senior engineer Richman Siansimbi said. "It's exciting, a little weird too."

Siansimbi's company, Portland-based Digital Scan 3D, has been dabbling in the state-of-the-art art of 3-D printing for years.

They even supplied the scanners to create the first-ever 3-D portrait of a sitting president.

The new display at Washington Square Mall, he says, is proof of how accessible modern technology has become.

"They are calling this the third industrial revolution," Siansimbi said. "People are really curious. They're like 'What is this?', so I think the more people learn about it, the more we'll see 3-D scanners popping up everywhere."

But for the every day mall-goer, motivations aren't always so scientific.

"Of course there's always a little bit of ego!" one man said.

Several willing participants stepped into the 360-degree photo booth Monday afternoon.

As the lights and scanners spin, eight cameras capture 300,000 images, each.

The data, more than 2 million photos, processes in an I-cloud, and within minutes the 2-D mock-up is made.

"You know, think of your grandparents," Siansimbi said. "Nobody's going to be here forever, right? You can get them scanned for the grandkids and 10 years from now, 20 years from now you can look at this data and rotate it, and see exactly, each and every inch."

Digital Scan 3D's booth will be set up inside Washington Square Mall, near the Macy's, for the next month.

Minimum cost for a custom mini-me is $139.


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