In amongst last week’s torrent of posts from Shapeways, there was one describing a cool HP Lovecraft bust printed on their 3D print service. You can buy one yourself for USD$17 or USD$33 for the 12 or 15cm versions, respectively.

However, this got us thinking again. Shapeways (and other 3D print services) often try to overcome the 3D design complexity barrier by providing narrowly-focused print solutions. For example, Shapeways has near-pushbutton solutions for producing stylii, stampmakers, cufflinks, 3D photos and various poem-enriched ornaments.

Back to the bust. If you can upload a 2D photo and get a flat, but 3D representation, why not attempt something similar to produce a custom 3D bust?

Imagine how it might work:

  • Customer takes several photos of themselves taken at pre-arranged angles, perhaps using a PDF template to line up the camera
  • Customer uploads the pics to a 3D print service that automatically cleans up the photos
  • Software examines the series of photos and produces a rudimentary 3D model of the individual’s head and shoulders
  • The model is presented to the customer online and offers basic push-button tweaks (to tuck in that chin a bit, or shorten up earlobe droops, for example)
  • Customer punches the “Print” button and receives a real 3D bust of themselves in the post shortly thereafter.
Possible? Or no?

Via Shapeways Blog

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