8. August 2013–
We love it when technology and witchcraft collide. So imagine the shivers we got when we encountered the tiny humanoid troops of Twinkind. Forget about guns, medical equipment and dresses that no sane person will ever wear... The future of 3D printing is here – and it's all about selfies.
From cave drawings to duck faces on Facebook, we've always been obsessed with capturing our likenesses. This Hamburg-based creative studio has recognised this urge, taken it by the hand and dragged it into the 21st century to create tiny 3D doppelgängers that will replicate you in supernatural detail.
Here's how it works. First of all, go to Hamburg (that's where the creative duo of Kristina Neurohr and Timo Schaedel have their pop-up studio). Then choose carefully which clothes you want to be immortalised in – very important. Then the clever technology starts – you'll be scanned by a Matrix-style 360-degree camera rig, that will capture your likeness in the round "in the blink of an eye".
You will then be rebuilt into a 3D object by the team's industrial-grade 3D printers, before your mini-me is checked over by hand to make sure it's as lifelike as possible. And voila! Your pint-sized counterpart will be ready to freak out friends and family within a few days.
The most compelling thing for us is the relatively cheap price-point: despite the futuristic tech, prices start at €225 for a 15cm model, rising eventually to €1290 for a more eerie 35cm version. This means that the figurines aren't just a plaything for the hyper-elite – lesser mortals can afford to be immortalised too. Hell, you can even scan your pet if they'll sit still for long enough.
For now, there's just a single pop-up studio in Hamburg, although it's a trend that seems to be catching on. Last week at TOA, Berlin-based makers' hub Fab Lab was offering a similar, although less sophisticated service, scanning just the upper body to be laid on generic models.
Given the emotions these tiny mini-me figures seem to stir in everyone they meet, Twinkind need to move fast and expand before they get their own army of imitators.