Shapify uses a Kinect to let users create a 3D Mini-Me from home
By Brian Dodson
November 21, 2013
To make a three-dimensional color statue of yourself, you could grab a chunk of marble and enlist the services of a sculptor and a painter, or you could take the simple approach and use a 3D scanner and a 3D full-spectrum multicolor printer. Since the first option is expensive and time-consuming and very few of us have access to the equipment for the second, Shapify has launched a service that lets users scan themselves at home, using a Kinect.
There are already a number of companies that offer to print 3D figurines in your likeness, however they require a visit to their location for a scan – not a simple thing when the scanning studio isn't just down the block, but requires a trip to Spain, Germany, or Japan.
Shapify instead lets customers create their own Mini-Me in the comfort of their own homes. The process works like this. You take a series of eight 3D photographs of yourself from all sides using the Shapify app and a Kinect motion capture unit. The software, which is currently only compatible with PC, then stitches the individual 3D photos together into one 360-degree 3D model. Once you are happy with the 3D image, push a button to place an order and a Shapify Mini-Me will be delivered within a couple of weeks.
The scale on your Mini-Me is 1/20 full scale, making most of our pint-sized doppelgangers around 3-4 in (7-10 cm) in height. Cost? US$59. Value? Well, not priceless, but it is pretty nifty. The video below takes explains the process.