How one mall is turning 3D-printed selfies into big business

With the holidays quickly approaching, I'm sure you're trying to come up with the perfect gifts for your friends, family, and co-workers. How about an exact 4-inch replica of yourself? Worried that it sounds too difficult? All you have to do is go to the mall where Me 3D can turn your selfie into a figurine that will last forever.

Located in the Mall of America, Me 3D is in the business of turning photographs into three-dimensional objects. Shoppers simply come in, have their picture taken, and wait for their replicas to be printed. CTC Inc., the company behind Me 3D, has worked on residential and commercial projects to make lifelike models of buildings. They saw commercial 3D printing as the next logical step for their business.

The labor-intensive art uses 89 digital cameras to photograph the subject, and multiple software tools to assemble the digital images for the 3-D printers. The figurines are made from gypsum powder, and a technician inspects and retouches each model before coating the figure in a glue that sets the color and preserves the shape.

Learn more about Me 3D in the StarTribune.