On the 24th November Tokyo's Gyre art gallery unveiled their 3D Shashin-kan machine, a nifty piece of technology that makes a miniature you to take home… Hello future!
It’s rare these days that you find one of the old style photo booths that creates a vertical strip of four different photos, capturing special moments with friends, families and lovers. Instead, we are lumped with those plastic caves that create little more than four identical, sterile looking, photos, of which is only useful for mug shots, passports, identity cards and driving licences. But, this is all about to change as the future is about to be unveiled on the 24 November at Tokyo’s Eye of Gyre exhibition space, where the world’s first 3D printing booth is to be housed.
So, have you ever watched ‘Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me’ and thought to yourself, ‘I want a mini-me’? Well, that dream is not too far off.
These 3D portraits are created by the Omote Shashin-Kan machine in the form of whole-body scanning, which can then be turned in to a detailed figure of them, measuring 10, 15 or 20cm high. But, be warned, if you have an impatient soul, this may not be for you as you have to wait a month or so to receive your finished mini-me. Why? Well, we can only assume that Omote want to buffer up the portraits and make sure that whoever paints them does a good job, ensuring that the customer is satisfied.
3D printing has been big news the last few years, as it’s slowly creeped into our workshops, garages, studios and even kitchens. This is the next step in consumer technology that will make artists out of those with little know-how, giving them the opportunity to explore a medium that, at first, can be intelligible, helping to unearth new talents the world over. With easy access to camera technology and the ever-faithful Instagram, millions of us have discovered that we have a flair for photography.
Are home 3D printing machines going to do the same for production of goods itself?
This is one of the questions that has been raised by various newspapers, wondering if this is a move in the right direction or an innovation that will have repercussions in the future.
Either way, we don’t know about you but we want a 3D portrait of ourselves ASAP. But, if you want the process to be swift and smooth here are some key points to remember:
The process takes a whole 6 minutes and the subject MUST remain still.
Fashionistas out there, beware. Reflective clothes, hoop earrings, fur, fine patterns and wire-rim glassware are all big no-nos as the machine won’t be able to pick up on the details with satisfactory results.
So, what are you waiting for? Visitors need to book in advance and the exhibition at the Gyre closes 14th January 2013.
written by Ben Taylor