What could be better than a 3D-printed model of yourself? The answer of course is a 3D-printed model of yourself filled with candy. That's exactly what Hot Pop Factory recently made, when it created several working Pez dispensers fashioned after individual people's heads.
Hot Pop Factory typically produces jewelry and experiments with 3D printing, but decided to construct the Pez dispensers after it was approached by a client to make a unique holiday gift for an entire office staff. A 3D-printing enthusiast named Tony Buser had previously made an impressive batch of personalized Pez dispensers, so the company set to work using some similar methods.
To build the plastic candy holders, Hot Pop Factory first had to scan each person's head to form a model for a 3D printer (the employees were told it was for a research project, to avoid spoiling the surprise). Using 3D capturing software from ReconstructMe and an Xbox Kinect sensor, the designers were able to quickly make the 3D models they needed and then clean them up using the MeshMixer tool from Autodesk.
The team also had to make a few adjustments to the models so they would fit onto a Pez dispenser and actually push the chalky candy out as intended. From there, it was just a matter of printing all 32 heads out with a Makerbot Replicator and attaching them to decapitated Pez dispensers.
As you can imagine, the employees were very happy with their candy-toting replicas. Unfortunately, barring a trip to Hot Pop Factory's office in Toronto to get yourself scanned, you probably won't be able to order a Pez dispenser bearing your visage anytime soon. Still, this is one of the more entertaining examples of what's possible as 3D printing technology becomes more widespread.
Check out the video below to see the scanning process for creating a Pez dispenser of a person's head.