When big brands start to experiment with a technique, then you know it’s really starting to become bigger. It happened to 3D printing recently, as big parties such as Asda, Hersheys and Amazon all started to do something with the technique. Dutch retailer Hema also started using the technique back in February to sell personalized 3D printed jewelry online. Right now, the company is back on the forefront of 3D printing experiments and announces a so-called 3D Scan Lounge in its Stadshart store in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam.
The 3D Scan Lounge basically does what you expect it do, as it can make a 3D scan of a person, after which the scan will be used to make a 3D print of the scanned person in question. A person aiming to get 3D printed will need to stand in the lounge space for a short while, while the 68 high-resolution cameras capture his or her shapes from lots of different angles. These “scans” will then be used to create a 3D figurine of the person, which will be the base for a 3D print. Users, however, need to wait for three to four weeks before they get their 3D print for 59 euros; which approximately comes down to 80 dollars.
Hema started experimenting with 3D printing earlier this year, when the company started its collaboration with Amsterdam-based 3D printing company Zazzy. Hema gave Zazzy, a 3D printing company creating personalized jewelry, a platform, by adding a 3D printed jewelry service to its online shop. Earlier this year, we asked Zazzy co-founder Gert Jan Spriensma what he thought the impact of 3D printing on his sector fashion could be and he answered: “(…) I think it will take some more time before 3D printing will be used in fashion massively. Above all, it’s an expensive production method.”
Maybe it will take some time for his sector, but as big brand start to walk away with the technique, there are definitely signs for 3D printing to be able to enter the mainstream. And with a new technique rising, your concept does not necessarily need to be innovative. Hema’s 3D Scan Lounge therefore is not an invention at all, as they just copy examples from the UK given by retailer Asda, which opened lots of 3D scanning boots in its malls earlier this year.
Many more parties started to use the concept of 3D printing people as figurines. In Thailand, a company called Minockio started to offer a service like this where everyone could get a 3D print of themselves. They, however, were also not the first ones to come up with a service like this, as a wide variety of different 3D printed figurines have passed the radar recently. The weirdest by far was a 3D printed version of an unborn child by 3D Babies. Their project generally comes down to ordering a 3D printed version of a fetus and getting it delivered in a coffin-ish box. In their words: “imagine meeting your baby before he or she is born”. Well, we’d rather not?
Crayon Creatures, however, did a nicer job with kids, as the company came up with a system to turn children’s drawings into 3D printed figurines. Children’s fantasies come to life, as you can now get them printed instead of pinning them on the fridge door. Or: getting your face 3D printed in chocolate. A company called Choc Edge makes that possible.
We are curious whether the Hema boot will become a massive success or not. It could as well be too early for the masses to try out something like this, but we do think there’s a market for this kind of technology. Watch the – Dutch – vid below, in which Hema’s Boudewijn van Nieuwenhuijzen says this service is the modern equivalent of getting a family picture taken during Christmas holidays.