3D full-body scanning booth to create custom figurines

The company also sells its scanning software for Xbox Kinect machines

3D scanner manufactuer Artec Group announced the U.S. debut of its Shapify Booth, which can scan your entire body in 12 seconds and use the resulting file to print a life-like figurine.

The figurine, which Shapify is calling a "Shapie," is created on a 3D printer in full color.

Artec hopes the scanning booths will catch on in U.S. retail stores, such as Walmart, as well as theme parks and other major tourist sites, shopping malls and airports. Artec has already rolled out the booths in two ASDA supermarkets in the UK. ASDA is owned by Walmart.

shapify scan of woman Artec

A woman stands inside of a Shapify 3D scanning booth in the U.K.

Artec offers to print the figurines for booth operators (retailers) for $50 for a 6-in. model, $70 for a 7.5-in. model, and $100 for a 9-in. figurine. A $50 shipping fee is charged for a per bulk order and covers delivery within seven days anywhere in the world. Artec is suggesting retailers sell the finished figurines for $99, $139, and $199, respectively.

Booth operators are not obliged to use Artec’s printing service and have the option of printing the figurines themselves or finding their own printing partner. Depending on the business model the booth operator has chosen, the 3D model file is either free or $20. If the booth operator has bought the booth outright or is renting the booth, the files are free. If the booth operator prefers the SaaS model, then files are $20 each, however the initial payment covers an initial 2,500 image files.

The company demonstrated the technology this week at the "Inside 3D Printing" conference in Santa Clara, Calif.

"Shapies are perfect for capturing life's milestones in 3D figurine form like birthdays, graduations, a wedding, pregnancy, or even this year's awesome Halloween costume," the company said in its marketing material.

shapify figuring single Artec

The Shapies capture a tremendous amount of detail. Here a man reading a book has been turned into a 9-in. figurine.

While the use of 3D scanning with 3D printers is not new -- several leading 3D printer makers sell hand-held scanners or scanning turntables that can recreate small objects -- Artec's Shapify is arguably the first full-body scanner positioned for use in retail locations.

The 3D Shapify booths are equipped with four wide view, high-resolution Artec scanners, which rotate around the person to scan every angle. Artec claims the high-powered scan and precision printing is able to capture even the smallest details, down to the wrinkles on clothes. The scanning process generates 700 captured surfaces, which are automatically stitched together using Artec's advanced algorithms to produce an electronic file ready for 3D printing.

"The Shapify Booth will be the first experience many people have with 3D scanning and printing technology," Artyom Yukhin, CEO of Artec Group, said in a statement. "As a kid, you may have gotten into a photo booth with your friends and had a strip of pictures printed out to commemorate the occasion. Our goal is to have this generation do the same thing, but add another dimension and in the end have a 3D printed figurine to solidify the memory."

screen shot 2014 10 21 at 4.27.13 pm Artec

A closeup of a Shapie.

Stores can rent the scanners for $10,000 a month or buy them for $180,000.

The company also sells a software package called Shapify Pro that allows users with Xbox Kinect game boxes to scan themselves at home and either print their own figurine if they have a 3D printer or send it off to Artec to print.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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