3D printer fans are calling this technology the greatest thing since sliced 3D-printed pizza, but outside of some prone-to-malfunction guns, the 3D printers haven’t offered much that’s practical to use by the average person. Something that could be used to keep the kids out of trouble at the mall, or better yet, something that could keep you out of trouble at work when you sneak out for a long lunch. That all changed this week when the Chinese company Pinla 3D opened a store at the Wondercity Mall in Nanjing with a printer capable of making life-size 3D copies of real people.
Once your credit card is scanned for $28,550, Pinla 3D scans the rest of your body in a manner similar to but less stressful than the procedure done by airport security.
The store offers 14 other sizes if you prefer a Mini-Me mannequin instead of the life-size one, with the smallest measuring 12.5 cm in height for around $160. Regardless of size, the statue takes about two weeks to print. The photos on the Pinla 3D website look realistic in a before-and-after-diet-ad kind of way. The coloring looks true-to-life and the polymer body is close enough for those raised on accepting botox as an inevitable fact of aging.
If you think Flickr is too 2012, scrapbooking too quaint and height notches carved on a door jamb too destructive, you might consider a 3D-printed statue collection of your child’s development, starting with a 3D version of their fetus made from an ultrasound. Just make sure their bedroom shelf is strong enough and the ceiling high enough.