Got an ego? This 3D printer will make a model of yourself
The user stands in a booth while panels scan the full body. (Twitter)
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Photographs - selfies, of course, included - are a one of the most classic ways to preserve memories. How about immortalising yourself with your very own 3D likeness?
This is just one of the many innovations that the burgeoning 3D printing industry is bringing forth, and Jacky's Business Solutions is working hard to promote consumer awareness on it.
"There are a lot of new things going on in 3D printing," Ashish Panjabi, chief operating officer of Jacky's Retail, told Khaleej Times at its stand at Gitex Technology Week.
Jacky's Retail - the headline sponsor of Gitex's 3D printing area - has added more to its 3D-printing arsenal this year, with notable brands such as MakerBot, BigRep, Stratasys and Artec - the company behind this 3D selfie offering.
To produce a 3D print of yourself, you have to stand inside one of Artec's Shapify booths. Panels then revolve around you, which scan your entire body for 12 seconds, and five minutes later a detailed 3D model of yourself is produced. The actual printing of the 3D model - called a "Shapie" - is about half-a-day. Depending on the size, it will cost you anywhere between $45 to $170.
While Artec's Shapify booths have been around for a while now in some parts of the world, Panjabi says that informing consumers on these unique products will help drive interest and broaden the understanding on the 3D printing world. He added that Jacky's Business Solutions has already sold a unit in Kuwait, and the company is beginning to aggressively market it here in the UAE.
"3D printing has taken a lot of steps forward today," Panjabi said, adding that it has become even more convenient with apps now available on mobile devices.
"It works very well and makes it easier for everyone to print in 3D. through your smartphone, tablet or even the cloud."
Jacky's Business Solutions has continuously expanded its portfolio in the GCC, especially in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. At Gitex, Panjabi said that 3D printing is being demonstrated at certain government booths and at etisalat. There is also a lot of adaptation on the ministry level, he added.
"There is a lot of interest especially in the UAE's education and healthcare sectors," Panjabi said, as well as in major entities such as Immigration, the Ministry of Health and the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme.
"I think there is very big potential in the UAE especially in the public sector and in education," Anastasia Sismanidu, channel marketing manager at MakerBot, told Khaleej Times at the Jacky's stand.
The education sector is a primary focus for Jacky's Business Solutions; with MakerBot, 3D printing has been incorporated in the curriculum of some schools for children to learn more about the potentials of 3D printing.
"Developing interest in the younger ages - especially with new breakthroughs - is easier now," Sismanidu said.
In Saudi Arabia, Panjabi said that the company has just completed a big tender in which 180 3D printers were incorporated in the kingdom's school system.
Aside from 3D printing, Jacky's Business Solutions is also showcasing its other offerings such as vehicle tracking devices, digital signages and new bank, currency and queue counters.
"We will have a couple of major announcements on tenders before the end of 2015," Panjabi said. "It will be some of the largest we've ever had."