Already popular in Japan, 3D figurine printing is a new technology now here in London. Levavo, London’s first shop of its kind, is conveniently tucked behind Liverpool Street Station on Leyden Street. I’d seen a member of SMAP get a 3D figurine of himself on TV, but I never thought 3D printing would be something I could experience for myself – until Levavo kindly invited me along to get a full colour, lifelike printed ‘My3Dtwin‘!
3D printing, also known as rapid prototyping – can create incredibly accurate figurines without expensive and time-consuming lathe-work and mould making. You might have heard in the news about a 3D pizza printer for use in space, as well as miraculous bespoke prosthetic limbs. The possible uses of 3D printing is mind boggling, but it is now surprisingly accessible! You can snap up a unique experience of the amazing technology by printing a 3D figurine of yourself to grace your mantelpiece. After all, you’ll never be this young again…
Step into the specially designed photo booth room at Levavo and 64 Canon cameras will all snap at the same time, from every possible angle, like some kind of computerised paparazzi. And that’s it. It’s that easy. You can preview your photos before printing. Then the images are combined. To print, layers of powder (in this case plaster) are laid down in a large printer, and fused by a laser in a process known as ‘sintering’. After printing is finished in about 10 hours, the product is removed from within a block of powder.
I chose to have an image of myself holding my baby son. It is so eerily accurate, it took me some time to come around to it. I sat and stared at it for ages. I have to be honest; it kind of terrified me. The detail is staggering. But I think my son will treasure it in years to come.
My3Dtwin has captured a lovely moment in the life of myself and baby Matheo Zen’s. His sweet little hand on mine, and his tiny little finger sticking out. I’d probably avoid taking a photo of the back of his head, but this model shows how his hair is thicker in the nape of the neck. Just thinking about it makes me broody. Misgivings about my ‘baby weight’ aside, the figurine is beautiful.
Fabric is rendered exquisitely; every fold and pattern and shadow. I particularly recommend a ‘mini me’ figurine to cosplayers, kimono wearers, or anyone who has a splendid outfit that they’d love to capture in all its splendour for all prosperity.
A wonderful gift (vouchers are available) for any occasion, these figurines would be particularly appropriate as a wedding gift (and how awesome to have these figurines on the cake!) or perhaps to celebrate an anniversary. Children look adorable, and can be captured as they grow and change. Pets are welcome too!
3 sizes are available, as are customisations. The prices have really come down and prices start at £120 for a 6 inch model of one person in a standing position. Visit the website to learn more about the procedure and make a booking. You can see a video in the ‘My3Dtwin’ gallery here.
‘My3Dtwin’ will be at the Star Trek destination in London later this year, and they’ve recently been working with Marvel company creating superheroes for Captain America’s latest movie!
17 Leyden Street