The Stocking Stuffer That Keeps Stuffing: A 3D Print of my Head

by Paddy Johnson on June 13, 2011 · 8 comments Opportunities

What everyone needs: A 3D scan of their head

I know what my family’s getting in their Christmas stocking this year: A 3D print of my face! Inspired by Stephen Colbert’s newfound love for 3D printing technology, last week the staff of AFC made its way over to MakerBot Industries, the DIY 3D printing company in Brooklyn, to have our heads scanned. Cornstarch was dusted over our hair to help improve the read of the scan, and a device that looks like a barcode reader shone around our heads. The file’s now available online along for Internet users to download and remix along with those of others who stopped by that day (artist Cliff Evans, 4chan’s moot, and Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing all have their heads online).  A gold mine for anyone with scads of free time on their hands for sure.

Beyond the necessities – say, producing 3D renderings of Stephen Colbert’s head with wings –  the printer can replicate virtually any small object in Lego-like plastic. I assume there will be more than one artist out there who could do something interesting with this, though it also means having the ability to print objects as banal as combs and door stoppers. The printer has practical real world applications.

In any event, the unassembled Makerbot Thing-O-Matic costs $1300, which matches the mid-range price of a professional digital camera. Of course, artists who want to use 3D scanners may end up using rentals just like the kids at Makerbot did last week. The good ones can end up being very pricey.


Carolina A. Miranda June 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm

wuuuuuuut? EFFING AMAZING.

Duncan Alexander June 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Totally cool, Paddy. You need to get some glasses on there, though, for the full 3D-Paddy Johnson Experience. 🙂
Related thought: is a site that sells 3D object printouts made by people all over the world. Very easy to get hooked browsing through their catalog.

Anonymous June 14, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I’m not sure whether it was the scanner or the printer that would have problems with that. Everyone who had glasses had to take them off tho 🙁

I did not know about shapeways! I followed the link Duann Scott posted only to see my plastic head selling for about $150 bucks. I can’t imagine anyone’s going to spend that much money on a head made out of lego plastic —  it’s really not worth it. 

Duann Scott June 20, 2011 at 7:43 am

It would only cost $50 to have it 3D printed in Ceramics, surely that is worth it?

Duann Scott June 14, 2011 at 6:27 am

Very cool…
Here you can buy yourself here,

You would be cheaper if you were hollow, but everybody kinda knows that 😉

Becky Carlson June 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Another company that can make 3D models is 2bot and their machine, the ModelMaker. You can print a model of yourself in any size… it is fully scalable.

Lorna Mills June 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Is that a bust of Paddy Johnson,  Esteemed Roman Matron?  How many slaves did you get from the Punic Wars?

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