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22.11.2014
My 3DTwin is the brainchild of Marcin Piosik, 32, a former computer engineer, who specialised in architectural scanning, providing 3D images of buildings. For Marcin is doing what Michelangelo or the Italian sculptor Canova might have done were they alive today. A woman even used her 3DTwin to try to prompt her boyfriend into a marriage proposal after presenting him with a 6in high version of herself wearing an engagement ring. On my way home, I nip into the next-door cafe to ask the owner what he thought of his 3DTwin, which now takes pride of place on his mantelpiece. The mini-me figurines are printed with a state-of-the-art full colour 3D printer that can create an incredible 390,000 colours. The features are exact a€” oh horror, I think I can see that pimple a€” the hair is identical and the colour and pattern of my dress have been reproduced astonishingly accurately.
You can buy a mini-you for just A?82, and make the waxworks at Madame Tussauds look like they were fashioned by vision-impaired orangutans. We have done one of a pregnant woman, who is coming back after the birth for a 3DTwin of her holding her new baby.a€™My cloning begins in the basement studio.
Some 64 top-of-the-range Canon cameras point at me, positioned in every nook and cranny of the room. But instead of spraying ink on to a page, the moving nozzles build up, in sweep after countless sweep, minute particles of plastic in thin layers which gradually develop into a solid figure. After all, why waste years sculpting likenesses of aristocratic clients who often failed to pay up, when you could produce a mini Medici or Borgia in just two days?Just think of the mass production of sculptures of grand Popes and egotistical kings. As my vanity knows no bounds, I am anxious to act as the first journalistic guinea pig for the process.


To test their claims of verisimilitude, I have posed in a dress of a shade of pink that is no longer manufactured, as my frock is vintage.
Bright lights flood the space, and I am asked to stand on the small square in the centre and strike a pose, one hand on my hip and the other touching the skirt of my dress, which has a kick pleat in the back. After 48 hours of constant spraying, a figure emerges fully painted with 400,000 shades of colour helping to build up the most detailed skin tone and colours. It has an intricately patterned waistband, and I am also wearing a ring with an engraving, as well as earrings with small grooves. Forget Holbeina€™s few paintings, why not eight models of Henry VIII, all in different regalia? The technology allows you to airbrush your photographs to create your ideal figure and face. Instead of being snapped at Elton Johna€™s annual ball, why not create a living tableaux of the guests in their designer outfits? My posterior is not quite as big as I feared, but it will certainly serve as a reminder to refrain from eating Mars Bars after lunch .
They are so lifelike, they look like characters in sci-fi films after they have been miniaturised. A I feel Ia€™m in the vanguard of a trend that will revolutionise the way we want to see ourselves. A And what of modern celebrities like Rihanna and Madonna who cana€™t get enough of themselves?A  Now they dona€™t have to.
It made me remember that in an episode of The Avengers, Diana Rigg was turned into particles of light, before re-emerging the size of an index finger: small but perfectly formed.


Then, Marcin takes my hand, leads me to his computer, and I find myself staring at 64 images of myself which have already appeared on the large screen.
As for the imminent Royal Baby, commemorative champagne seems so demode when you can produce millions of mini-Cambridges.Indeed, while 3D printing has largely been used on inanimate objects, it seems to work equally well with people. When Marcin calls to say My3DTwin is ready, I start to regret my decision not to airbrush my model to perfection. In fact, you are the first person we have shot with 64 cameras.a€™The cameras are placed strategically around the room at equal intervals, covering the walls and even the ceiling so not a centimetre of my body will be missed. American writer Ha€‰L Mencken once complained that, from the side, all women looked like drunken dollar signs. I am presented with myself in a box marked a€?fragilea€™.A  Inside, I am covered in bubble wrap. A new company called Levavo has just developed a process which means anyone can walk into its London shop and have, two days later, a plastic mini-reproduction of themselves that promises complete verisimilitude in every detail. In an age which encourages us to post the minutiae of our lives on Facebook and has seen the chattering class replaced by the Twittering class, a 3D alter-ego seems a natural progression. These relatively new gadgets have been greeted with much acclaim a€” theya€™ve been used to print plastic versions of all sorts of things from shotguns to shoes to covers for smartphones. Of course, My3DTwin cana€™t talk a€” but as far as many people are concerned, thata€™s a mercy.



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