The people who are preserved in the form of life-size statues usually have done something noteworthy and amazing. Thanks to 3D printing technology and New York startup Body Labs, now any schmuck with some cash to burn can put a replica of their body on display, no accomplishments required.
Body Labs, along with design firm Voodoo Manufacturing, conceptualized the idea for the 3D-printed body model after seeing a Groupon promotion that let people 3D-print life-size versions of themselves as a gift for Mother’s Day.
Voodoo Manufacturing co-founder Jonathan Schwartz was able to successfully scan himself and create a life-like model in a similar fashion, without forking over the $30,000 the Groupon cost. Now the company, along with Body Labs, is offering their own 3D-printed models for $3,000.
The model was broken down into 88 unique segments, which could then be printed out and assembled. With a factory in Brooklyn that houses 150 3D printers from MakerBot, Voodoo Manufacturing is able to mass produce 3D-printed parts in short order. A spokesperson for the company told the Daily Dot the 88 pieces of Schwartz were printed within 24 hours.
While Voodoo Manufacturing provides the materials needed to bring the bodies into form, it’s the technology from Body Labs that makes it all possible. “Without their tech, it would have been impossible to 3D-print an accurate life-size model of Jon, and probably even more impossible to segment his body into so many different pieces,” the spokesperson said.
Body Labs utilizes research from Brown University and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen, Germany to create its digital replications. The mathematically accurate digital models that they produce from 3D scans can be reposed, animated, and manipulated at will thanks to the incredible amount of detail that they capture.
The value for these digital recreations is nearly limitless. The models allow to see more accurate representation of how the body moves and interacts with other objects, presenting endless customization possibilities.
Body Labs has already teamed with the United States military to create a database of soldiers and build them custom gear that will be best suited for them. On the consumer side, the technology could be utilized for fitted apparel. The startup has also presented possible uses for the models for the purposes of health and fitness, as well as gaming and animation.
As for the 3D-printed version of the models? The spokesperson for Voodoo Manufacturing suggested they could be used to “design for and around specific body shapes and sizes in a much more economic way.” Though the real, untapped potential here is for an enterprising kid to use the technology to Ferris Bueller himself a day off from school.