There is a reason Esrati.com hasn’t been posting as often over the last month- it’s a new kiosk in the Dayton Mall, and they are my client.
On Oct. 15th, a local entrepreneur contacted my firm, The Next Wave, looking for help to open the first of its kind business in North America. The business makes scale sculptures of you- by taking thousands of photographs of you in a 12-second span. The photos are interpolated to build a 3D model, that can be printed in a 3D printer- and delivered to you in about a week.
Great idea- huge success in an ASADA store in Manchester England (ASADA is the name Walmart uses in the U.K.)- where they did gobs of them in the first month they were open. Only thing was, he was to have the machine delivered and installed on November 1st.
Normally- naming, branding and marketing plans take months to prepare- but we worked a crazy number of hours- and “Doppelganger Laboratories” was born. Unfortunately, shipping the scanning booth took a bit longer, and while we had the booth ready to go on the 2nd, the scanner didn’t make it here until the 8th (last Saturday). The assembly took 3 people almost 2 days- and at 9 p.m. last night the first scans were completed.
Here is what a scan of Howard from the Big Bang looks like online in the preview, note, the software prefers Firefox or Chrome for the full webGL experience:
And here is Dayton’s finest miniature painter, in full reenactor garb:
The figurines are pretty cool- even though they are made of a melted plastic powder (laser-sintered polyamide to be exact) – that’s colored to match the scan. It comes out feeling like sandstone, and must be handled much like a porcelain figurine would be. Oddly, the statues aren’t waterproof- if they get wet, the colors may bleed.
The actual sculpting/printing takes around 9 hours and isn’t done locally at this point. Turnaround is about a week.
As always, people ask how much they cost, and they start at $149 for a 1:12 scale model going up to $249 for a larger 1:8 scale one. How big they are – depends on how big you are. My old friend, RIP, Dan Obravac who was a bit over 7′ would be 7″ for the “small” 1:12 scale and 10.5: for the large 1:8 scale. Vern Troyer- the original MiniMe – who tops out at 2’8″ would make a real small model of about 2.6 inches for a 1:12 scale. The prices for all the versions are here: DoppelgangerLabs shop
The first 150 people to order a Doppelganger will also get one of our cool shirts- which say “Say hello to my little friend”
What I find most interesting is the what is old is new again. Before photography, people had basically three choices to be “memorialized” for others- a drawing, painting or sculpture of themselves. The little sculptures Doppelganger Labs produces are a return of the sculpture as a way of sharing your likeness.
Some of the coolest things we’ve seen are some of the double scans- there is a large model of a guy with his girl getting a piggy-back ride that’s just awesome. Of course, the pregnant sculpture is a way forever to remember the nine-month miracle of birth and share it later with your progeny. Wedding cake toppers are also popular- although big, poofy gowns with lots of lace and super long trains aren’t the best for scanning.
A few things to avoid when heading to the Dayton Mall to get scanned:
Wear big prints or solids. It doesn’t like shiny shoes, shiny belt buckles or earrings. Glasses are a no-no. Fingers do best when held clenched or touching a flat object like the side of your leg, or crossed arms, especially on the smallest scale builds. And remember, the output is more like an artist’s rendering- not a 3d model avatar to play you in Hollywood. Check out the selection of samples at the booth.
There are photos of people holding their statues on the site- I think the ones where the people are wearing the outfit they were scanned in are the coolest. We’re encouraging people to come back in the clothes they wore to be scanned so we can take a photo with you and your Doppelganger. Happy scanning people!