Last Tuesday, MakerBot industries announced that its retail store in New York's Soho district (which we visited!) is now offering a 3D photo booth service with its MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printers. Unlike the Japanese pop-up 3D photo studio we heard about earlier this month, the MakerBot store's 3D portraits are actually snapped in something that vaguely resembles a conventional photo booth. The system uses a four-camera setup developed by the imaging company ShapeShot, which captures your likeness from three angles to create a 3D representation of the front of your face. Then, using custom software similar to that of a videogame avatar creator, you choose your hairstyle from preset models, since the imaging system doesn't actually model your hair, just your face.
Just getting the scan costs $5, and the file will be uploaded to the Thingiverse website for you to download and print if you own a MakerBot. You can also pay the MakerBot store to print the model while you're there, and prints range from $20 to $60 depending on the size of the head you want to receive.
From our experience, a print of that size takes up to an hour to build on our first-generation Replicator, so the print may be quicker on the Replicator 2, depending on how much processing the ShapeShot system (or MakerBot store employees) has to do to prepare the file. It's not exactly an instantaneously photo booth experience, but a pretty significant step forward in getting a personalized object made on demand.