Japan photo booth prints lifelike 3D sculptures

In case you didn’t already spot this, the world’s first 3D printing photo booth just popped up in Japan. Yes, photo booth – in you step, the camera scanner goes off, and out pops a 3D figure of yourself.

Omote 3D Shashin Kan, as it’s called, is being shown in Harajuku’s Eye of Gyre art gallery from this weekend through January 14. It uses rapid prototyping technology to gather accurate data from its subjects over a 15-minute period, including their posture, shape, size, hair colour and even clothing. The data is uploaded to create a CAD design which is then printed into lifelike miniature sculptures in your choice of 10cm, 15cm or 20cm tall.

For now, they’re not particularly cheap – $258, $393 and $516 respectively – nor are they necessarily 100% accurate; according to Dazed Digital, movement, light reflection or intricate textures could throw up unusable results.

But, they’re another great indication of the direction this technology is moving.

Ok so who actually wants a 3D sculpture of themselves you might ask (quite a few people actually, but that’s by the by). For argument’s sake, then, imagine this concept taken further in the future and applied to fashion consumption…

In you step with your favourite but super worn pair of jeans on, the prototyping does its work (you choose fabric as you go and such like), and out you come with a brand new pair, perfectly shaped to fit. Or how about that coat from three seasons ago that’s falling apart at the seams, or a dress you’ve been desperate to replicate in another colour? After all, this bikini reportedly just became the first completely 3D-printed article of clothing.

Not so unfeasible now, is it.