If you could see your head on anyone’s shoulders, anyone at all, whose shoulders would they be? If you could see yourself as a member of any profession, which would it be? It’s questions like this that 3D printed miniture models most likely offer an answer to, whereby other means could not reach. Whether you have a deeply supressed part of you that would like to have been a doctor, you would like to see your partner as a firefighter or, well, how about about gifting a friend their likeness as Superman. PetitMe is one of the latest brands to enter into this growing niche.
Hot off the back of just launching a beta of their new marketplace for 3D printed models, designs and designers named 3DVix, Miami Florida based Prinvix has introdued the miniature figure section of their emergent 3D printing ecosystem. Prinvix is going all out for a place in the nascent world of 3D printing with an ecclectic set of ventures that include VIXIA high quality prototypes for engineering and TINKERINA to provide an interact interface for creating personalised jewellery and other customised items.
The process starts with the customer browsing the PetitMe online catalogue for a charactor to base their personalised miniture figurine upon, then clicking to customise. There are currently some 51 figures to get the website started, and I must say that the models are professional looking, colourful and cover a sizable range of subject areas. For example graduations, weddings, golfing, playing tennis, at the beach or dressed to impress in a tuxedo. The range of figures will only increase as time goes on, and there are enough different models there already to make the site certainly worth a browse.
The next step is for the customer to begin to make the figure just how they wish them to appear in the final 3D printed model. The user can pick a size for the figurine, select their tailored colours for the clothing and accessories, as well as personalise with text and custom images. From there it is probably the most important step: uploading your headshots for the customised head. This can include the customer’s own face, or that of the friend being gifted — PetitMe asks for a frontal headshot with at least one side picture. Next, PetitMe will print and post-produce the model for home delivery.
There are a number of other companies, large and small, already leveraging this niche – for example here in the UK alone those involving themselves in 3D minutures range from Walmart’s massive ASDA supermarket chain to the London-based 3D printing store iMakr; as well as small start-up Levavo. Over in China, since Pinla3D opened it’s Nanjing Wondercity Mall in east China’s Jiangsu province in March has been 3D printing full 1:1 size replications of those who are really looking to get the most out of a three dimensional portrait.
The PetitMe website is clear, functional and fun. As this niche becomes more saturated it may be interesting to see how soon companies competing in this space specialise. Weddings. Birthdays. Limited Edition sci-fi figurines. And all of the myriad other potentials. If you wish to become one of the first 100 customers to order your petit figurine you can get a whole fifth off the product price using Promotional Code 100FB20.