With many 3D printing services online starting to become available, having more personal items printed and sent to your home could become a regular pastime. Amazon is helping this along with their recent 3D printing service that prints hundreds of different items that can easily be shipped to your home without consumers even needing a 3D printer. While 3D printer makers will still benefit from this, many services are starting to notice one thing: Creating 3D replicas of ourselves is starting to become popular.
We've written here recently about how some 3D printing services in Europe are starting to scan and print people's bodies or heads. Designated "Shelfies", it's a fun new way to play with our egos and be able to create lifelike miniatures of ourselves through head busts to display on a shelf.
Now Amazon is taking the above further with 3D-printed bobbleheads based on a scan of our own likeness. Amazon will take a photo you give them and run it through a CAD program to print out a bobblehead that utilizes every detail of the scan. Yes, that means even the clothing you have on in the photo can be utilized into the figurine. It can also incorporate every detail on your face, though in caricature form as we always expect in a bobblehead.
It's a fun idea that now expands on the idea of creating our own likeness on a 3D printer for a new kind of entertainment. The only question is whether the public will prefer more vivid 3D prints of ourselves or if we'll prefer caricatured replicas.
Will Everyone Have a 3D Replica of Their Likeness?
In another decade, it's possible we'll go into homes of friends and family and see a bobblehead or vivid 3D print of their heads sitting on their living room shelf. While this might bring on a new era of thinking about ourselves a little too much, it gives an interesting sociological angle to 3D printing that hasn't been explored yet. It may be that we'll prefer creating 3D-printed bobbleheads and vivid miniatures for friends rather than gifting ourselves.
Perhaps it seems strange to think that people want to stare at a 3D bust or bobblehead of themselves on their desk every day. When given as a gift, however, it's much more subtle. Overall, most people seem to prefer caricatured versions of themselves when they have to look at their likeness daily. Amazon's success with this service may tell us we don't mind poking fun at ourselves. Those in the public eye, especially, may love having the ability to create bobbleheads of themselves without waiting for a company to do it (expensively) for them.
We'll keep an eye on the trend of 3D printers creating replicas of the world's population. Ultimately, it could become the new way toward posterity when vivid representations of our likeness can hang around for hundreds of years after we die.