At the CES show earlier this year, Avi Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems, went on stage during Intel’s conference to announce a collaboration on “physical photography.” You may still be wondering exactly what that means but retired IT consultant Faye Wright is in no doubt and has already started offering the service through her start-up business in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA.
Fiontar Nua, which is Gaelic for “new venture”, is a shop and online service that offers personal scanning services and “physicalization” of photographs through the use of a professional 3D scanner and a MakerbBot 3D printer. Faye decided to get into the business after visiting a retail 3D printer store in New York (presumably the MakerBot store).
Before opening up her business she gave the project a lot of thought and dedicated herself to resolving many of the issues that go with venturing into a new business arena, such as difficulty in foreseeing the way the market will grow and the way the cost of machinery may fluctuate as new inventions continually upset industry dynamics. To address these issues she first took entrepreneurial classes offered by the South Dakota Technology Business Center (SDTBC), then proceeded to rent a space in the same centre, which acts as a small business incubator.
So what exactly does the shop offer? It develops 3D “bas-reliefs” of regular 2D photos taken in special occasions, such as a wedding, as well a 3D scanning service for personal miniatures. Customers can purchase the PLA/ABS version or a ceramic version, but the most attractive items are bronze sculptures that start from around 240 dollars (on e-commerce site Etsy) for the 3D photo and can run as much a 325 dollars for a 5 inch fully 3D figurine.
As local news website ArgusLeader.com, that first told her story, is reporting, the Entrapreneurship and Incubation Manager from the SDTBC, Pam Boehm, thinks that “there is definitely a place in the market for Fiontar Nua’s products”. Consensus on that seems to be spreading to an ever wider range of entrepreneurs.