Leawood, Kansas may not be the type of town that you would expect a professional 3D scanning and 3D printing studio like Lifeform Studio, but owners Mason and Lisa Menninger believe that they have a solid business plan and an idea that could catch on locally. Mason is a former NASA engineer, so he designed a 3D scanning rig and operates the studio’s 3D printer, bringing high-quality full color 3D snapshots, called “Lifeforms”, to local residents using high-powered 3D scanning and 3D printing technology.
The 3D images aren’t captured with a standard 3D scanner. Menninger has created a 360 degree 3D capture rig, consisting of 101 high-powered, synchronized cameras. He believes this method is superior to traditional 3D scanning because it does not require the subject to remain still for several minutes. It literally takes as long as required to snap a photograph.
Once the 1.8 gigapixel images are captured, they are sent to a computer where they are combined into a highly-detailed, 3D model. The model is then given to artists from Kansas City Art Institute, where they correct any flaws, adjust any colors, and make any changes that the subject requests. The finished 3D models is sent back to Menninger and printed out on the in-studio 3D Systems ProJet 660Pro 3D printer.
The studio has certainly gained the attention of the local media. You can see a local news segment on Lifeform Studio here:
Each 3D Lifeform costs around $300 and is generally delivered to customers within a week of having the image captured. The miniature figure is full color, however customers can have them adjust the figures in any way that you wish, including the addition of different clothing or merging two models together for a custom, 3D printed wedding cake topper.
You can find out more about Lifeform Studio on their website or you can follow them on Facebook. And if you are in Leawood, Kansas you can always just go down to the studio and pay them a visit. The studio is located at 11535 Ash St, Leawood, KS 66211 or you can call them at 913-345-9099.