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Baltimore Pop-Up 3D Printing Store Lets You Turn Your Face Into A Gift

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Scanning technology makes detailed 3D models which can then be printed on almost anything.
Sam Posten III: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kadath/5147932745
Scanning technology makes detailed 3D models which can then be printed on almost anything.

Looking for Christmas gift ideas, but can't find anything personal enough? A new 3D scanning and printing store is opening in Baltimore Friday that will let you spread the holiday cheer by gifting jewelry, bobbleheads and ceramic coffee mugs featuring scale models of your face.

The Bmore3D Store in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore was created as part of a collaboration between local 3D artists and designers. One of the stores biggest draws is ShapeShot — the first fully-automated 3D photo booth.

"People can walk in, sit down, and hit the big red button and it takes a 3D scan of their face," says Todd Blatt, a 3D artist who helped organize the store. "From there, any products that you want your face on can be created. By default we have six of them, including stuff like a little mini-figurine with your head on it and a Christmas tree ornament."

Something like a custom ornament will cost about $30, with jewelry and other objects getting more expensive, depending on the materials and amount of work involved.

The shop also includes a gallery of items designed and printed by Baltimore 3D artists. Many of the items, like miniatures of Baltimore sports team mascots, are straight-forward gifts. Others are intended to show off just how complex and nuanced 3D printed objects can be.

"We want people to come in and see what 3D printers can make," Blatt says. "There are high-end printers and high-end scanners that are available for consumers to use, and you'll see so many amazing designs from that."

Blatt says the store will also feature recreations of many historic works. He and a small team visited nearby Walters Art Museum, scanning the sculptures using their cell phones and recreating them, with permission, in their store.

As a "pop-up store," Bmore3D will be open on a temporary basis, only through the end of the year. Blatt says he's not sure whether a permanent store is in the cards, but he says if they're able to get the word out, he's optimistic that the technology might find it's way into existing stores and mall kiosks in the years to come.

See the ShapeShot Photobooth in Action.
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