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Hands-on Review of Twindom’s 3D “Cloning” Service – My Experience Being Scanned and Turned into a Figurine

There’s no denying that many people love figurines, action figures, etc., whether they are used for play acting or to just keep on a shelf or display cabinet. One of the most interesting companies whose booth I visited at PhotoPlus Expo 2018 in New York City was Twindom. They make Full Body 3D Scanners that can capture images in about a quarter of a second in a high-tech photo booth. Those scans can then be used to create 3D figurines. The samples they showed were AMAZING, and I decided to have a scan done at the show with my good friend Ron Wyatt. We are usually on the other side of the camera, but this was too much fun not to try! Below is a photo that I took of the final product, which is a seven inch figurine.

My overall impression of it is WOW! I’ve seen a lot of action figures over the years, and even with millions of dollars of equipment at their disposal, they usually fall short (in a big way) in representing the action hero or superhero’s facial features. In the sample they sent to me, it definitely looked like me and my friend to my eyes, and the truly amazing part is the color accuracy and how the folds of the clothing are rendered. If I were to describe the texture of the figurine, it would be like that of sandstone.

Important note: I was curious how many people and/or pets can be captured in one 3D full-body scan using the system, and I received some information from Twindom, which may or may not be 100% applicable depending upon where and when you have your scan done. If you have a small dog, cat, baby or small child that’s being held in someone’s arms, then you can still have four people in addition to the baby or pet. If there are already four people in the scan, a pet on a leash might still be able to fit in the scanning area, and there may be an extra charge for the touch-up and additional material that would be used for the figurine. Just to be sure, I would ask about the number of people and/or pets that can be in the scan before going to the location to have a scan done.

If I have anything negative to say about the final “print” as they call it, it’s that there are some faint vertical lines going through my shirt and some other areas, which is something that can happen with the printing process. That being said, at least in my case, the lines look as though they could have been a part of the design of my shirt, and under typical room lighting, they almost disappear. In other areas where I can see faint lines, they are extremely faint and I can’t see them at all under most typical lighting. I took the “selfie” photo above in strong afternoon daylight to show as much of the detail as possible.

FIGURINE OPTIONS

Please note: As mentioned below, I would consider the prices shown here to be “list prices,” because I’ve seen a range of different prices for all sizes depending on where and when you have the scans done and where you order figurines.

Twindom also offers its clients (those who purchase their scanning system and provide the scanning service) the ability to order the figurines for their clients (the end customer) with a number of different options. People can also be sent a link to order figurines themselves, but I’m not sure if all providers allow this option. A few of the options I noticed when checking the ordering page shown below include:

•  Ability to choose a figurine size from 3-14 inches.

• Ability to have your figurine placed on a white base. I would highly recommend this for most people because the figurines can fall over fairly easily without a base. This adds about $15-30 to the overall cost depending on the size of the figurine, but I noticed that at least one company includes this in their pricing for some sizes.

• Ability to choose TwinProtect™ coating, which gives the figurine a semi-gloss finish and also protects it more than if it had no coating. The coating adds about $20-30 to the overall cost depending on the size of the figurine, but like the base, I noticed that at least one company includes this in their pricing for some sizes.

• Ability to choose between a crystal and 3D print. If you’ve visited a mall in the last five years, you’ve probably seen images embedded inside of crystal.

• Ability to choose from full body, half-body or bust (some companies may not offer that option).

With a base added, the 7 inch figurine that Twindom created for me and that’s pictured above would cost about $259. I think the smallest size (3 inches) could work well as a wedding cake topper (though 6-7 inch figurines would make more of a statement). A three-inch figurine would cost $109-$130 depending on the options you choose. I would consider the prices I just mentioned “list prices,” because I’ve seen a range of different prices for all sizes depending on where and when you have the scans done and figurines made.

WHERE TO HAVE YOURSELF “CLONED”

If you’d like to have a scan done of you and/or your loved one (I think pets are ideal subjects for this), there are some pop-up installations at Bloomingdale’s stores in New York City and San Francisco this holiday season (until 12/30/2018). You can find the addresses for the stores and a link to book an appointment here. I would not recommend just showing up to make an appointment, but you can always call the store and ask what’s best. There are a number of other locations around the world. Here are a few in the United States that the company shared with me:

Holodeck 3D – Washington State
PeoplePrints3D – Pennsylvania
Mini Me Factory – Georgia

And here is a company in Japan who offers the service. Their site has a lot of photos of different figurines that show how the technology is being used.

Here’s a video overview of the scanning and printing process:

I found Twindom’s website to be very informative for those who are interested in finding out how to set up a 3D photo studio. According to their website, the cost of a system is US$29,995, plus a $299/month Cloud Subscription. That’s certainly not inexpensive, but I think it’s a very interesting business opportunity.

This technology seems to me like it would be a great option for artists to create limited edition pieces for sale (it’s probably being done already!). It reminds me a bit of the Polaroid 20×24 camera system because you can’t just take a photo with any camera and send out for prints. Here’s a great video about the 20×24 Polaroid process in case you are curious.

Overall, based on my hands-on experience, I highly recommend the Twindom scanning and printing process. Please let me know if you have a scan done. I’d love to see a photo of you in 3D!

Full disclosure: Twindom sent the figurine pictured above to me so that I could write this review. I received no other compensation for this review.

Andrew Darlow
 

Hello! For over 25 years I have consulted and taught on the topics of digital photography, workflow, image backup, printing and color management for individuals and corporations. I served as Editorial Director of Digital Imaging Techniques magazine for two years, where I wrote and edited numerous articles and reviews on the topics of digital and fine-art photography, inkjet printing, and Photoshop techniques. I've also conducted seminars across the United States at photo-related conferences including the Arles Photo Festival (Arles, France) and the PhotoPlus Expo (New York City), and have lectured and/or taught at institutions including Columbia University and the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City. My photography has been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows, and my work has been included in many photography publications. I'm the editor and founder of The Imaging Buffet Digital Magazine (https://imagingbuffet.com) and I publish a Photo Tips Newsletter, which includes tips and techniques related to fine-art printing and digital imaging. I've written four books (all related to photography), and my Amazon Author page can be found here:

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