MakerBot and its CEO Bre Pettis have done a lot to evangelize 3D printing, and its recently opened New York retail store is taking things a step further. At the official launch yesterday, MakerBot announced a 3D photo booth, which turns a trio of photographs into a model of the subject's head. Sitting for a model costs $5 and takes about five minutes, and the resulting file is uploaded to MakerBot's online Thingiverse. From there, you can print it yourself or (in a relatively more likely scenario) order a print in one of three smallish sizes that range from $20 to $60. The printing is done by MakerBot, but the rendering system is from ShapeShot, a separate company.
We've seen some pretty similar ideas over the past year, including a Kinect-powered face printing tool and a Japanese pop-up photo booth that will offer full-body action figures. Personalized sculptures are an obvious crowd-pleaser, as well as a way to show off the quick design and manufacturing turnover for 3D printers, so we're pleased but not too surprised to see this showing up in Manhattan. While MakerBot is certainly pushing the holiday gift angle, though, we're unclear on just how many people would consider our faces acceptable Christmas presents.