HOUSTON – A Houston business is adding a new dimension to selfies, literally.
The so-called "shapies" use 3D printing technology that is more accessible than you may think.
Shoppers are stopping in their tracks at Memorial City Mall. The draw? 3D Makery's new kiosk selling the 'ultimate selfie.' It can be of you, your spouse, child, or pet, anything that can be scanned inside the Shapify booth.
Twenty-year-old Joseph Perez was interested in the shapie of a car in the display cabinet. 3D Makery sales person explains, "We go to you and scan the car. It takes three to five minutes." A hand scanner is used.
Perez wants to know if he can be in the truck for the sculpture and the answer is "Yes."
The key to a good shapie? Keeping very still for about 12 seconds. The machine uses light to create an image which is then shipped to a 3D printer off site. In a matter of minutes, the shapie emerges.
In fact for $300 to $3,000, you can pick up a more modest 3D printer at stores such as Walmart, Home Depot or Sam's Club.
Benedict Nguyen, a Texas A&M emerging technology professional, believes it's the wave of the future. Nguyen says, "Anything you have in your house, you can print essentially."
The ink can be everything from impact and resistant to edible materials. If you don't have a scanner for an object? Nguyen says, "People upload the designs for free and there are millions and million off free files out there for everything."
Choose the item you like, drag and drop it into a 3D program and sent it to a 3D printer. If you don't have one, you can sent it to a business which does, a 3D copy shop of sorts.
Back at the 3D Makery kiosk, a shopper is "oohing and ahhing" over the details of the shapies, including the red toe nail polish on one statuette.
For truly personalized items, shoppers may prefer the ultimate selfie.