Have you ever seen a sculpture in a museum that you wanted to draw, but wished you could move it into a different lighting set-up first? Have you come up with an idea for an art product but cannot come up with a good-looking prototype? Do you want to paint a self-portrait but hate using mirrors? Have you ever pictured a complex setting for a figure painting, but did not have the time or ability to make and light the perfect maquette?
If you have, then a possible solution to your problems can be found in a desktop 3D replicator like that made by Brooklyn-based MakerBot Industries. Their newest model, the Replicator 2, is their 4th generation model, and it uses heated PLA plastic (made from corn starch) to build up, layer-by-layer, three-dimensional representations of digital design plans.
This past fall, the award-winning MakerBot opened its first retail store, located on Mulberry Street in New York City. Visitors to the store can step into the first fully-automated MakerBot 3D Photo Booth, and for $5, have a 3D scan made of their face. For a little bit more (price varies depending on the size of the finished product), customers can then have their scans made into a small, take-home bust. And if you would like, you can also buy your own Replicator (prices start at $2199.00), and start building your own projects.
The MakerBot Store is located at 298 Mulberry Street in New York City. They are open from 12 PM - 7 PM, Monday through Saturday, and from 12 PM - 6 PM on Sunday. For more information, visit their website or call (347) 457-5758. MakerBot also has a site called "Thingiverse," which features creations made on the company's Replicators (by clicking on the images below, you can visit the corresponding Thingiverse demonstration page).
|l. Head of Serapis (Roman), c. image capture by Todd Blatt, r. MakerBot sculpt from scan|
|Portrait of a Man (original: Walter's Art Gallery)|
|Portrait of a Man (origina: Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland)|
Left: MakerBot copy of original ⟷ Right: speculative restoration by Todd Blatt
|Head and Shoulders of a Sphinx of Hatshepsut (original: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)|
|Egyptian bowl (original: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)|
|Castle of the Maker Empire (original design)|
|The Puritan, a Sears kit house sculpted after designs found in the 1926 Sears and Roebuck catalog.|
|3D rendition of the cover to Sid Meier's Civilization game.|
|Bre Pettis, CEO and co-founder of MakerBot Industries,|
explaining the build volume capacity of the Replicator 2 (410 cubic inches)
Photo (c) 2012 Louis Seigal // seigalphotography.com
|Beethoven Mixtape (Beethoven bust designed to hold music collection in its head)|
|Brown Bear (ursus arctos)|
(inspired by the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History in NYC)
|Shofar (a functioning ram's horn trumpet)|
|A Dalek from the sic-fi series, Dr. Who|
|Three sizes of heads available at the MakerBot Store using the store's MakerBot 3D Photo Booth for scanning|
|Person scanned using Kinect and ReconstructMe software, then cleaned up in MeshMixer|
|Miniature bust from a scan of a guest at Maker Faire, Detroit, July 28, 2012|
|Miniature bust from a scan of a guest at Maker Faire, Detroit, July 31, 2012|
(check out the mustaches!)