The New Family Photo? 3D-Printed Statue Selfies

Walk into Eddie DaRoza's office and you'll find two of him there: the actual 32-year-old video producer, and a 5-inch statuette of him.

"There are a lot of double takes. It's like a little action figure of myself," the Los Angeles native said.

He had the statue made on a lark. While waiting for his brother at a mall, he stepped into a studio that scanned his body and sent the scan off to a 3-D printer. These studios are popping up rapidly as 3-D scanning and printing technology gets more advanced. In New York City alone, there are at least four stores that offer the service, including three just in the past year. You can get scanned in just a few seconds and get your statue delivered in days.

The advent of digital cameras and smartphones killed the traditional mall portrait studio, but 3-D printing has sparked a new trend. Overloaded with digital photos, statues may be moving in to fulfill our desire for portraits that stand out.

Many of the customers of the statue studios are parents who want statues of their kids. Sylvain Preumont, who opened a New York branch of his London-based iMakr store this year, said a soldier's wife had their three children scanned so he could bring them to Afghanistan. Victor De Los Angeles, owner of New York 3-D printing and scanning store Cubo, has scanned several pregnant women.

"I had a lady come in the day before she went into labor and she was like: 'I need it done today,' "he said.

New York's Museum of Art and Design offered scans and statues earlier this year. Shapeways, the company that supplied the exhibit, said it scanned about 6,000 people and sold about 1,500 statues for $30. Woody Allen got himself scanned there, so it's now possible to buy a...

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