The ultimate Christmas gift? A 3D model of your own head

1 / 2
The $5 model is created in a hi-tech digital printing booth (Image: Makerbot)

A shop in New York is offering the ultimate 'personalised' Christmas gift - a 3D model of your own head.

The tiny plastic model is created using a digital photo booth to 'print' a 3D model of a customer's head, which costs just $5 (£3.10).

Customers sit in a booth and are scanned by hi-res cameras for a few minutes - then a 3D printer creates a replica of their head by layering plastic into a coloured model.

The shop is owned by Makerbot - the market leader in 3D printing, a technology that turns 3D 'models' stored in computers into real, plastic objects.

Customers can also opt for a full bust, rather than a face. The shop also sells 3D printers - a Makerbot Replicator, capable of printing objects up to shoebox size, is $2200 (£1400).

[Related: Google boss says parents should talk to children about online privacy]

“We are excited to offer our MakerBot Store customers the chance to be ‘immortalized’ by the 3D Photo Booth,” noted Bre Pettis, CEO and co-founder of MakerBot Industries.

“We’ve been playing with this technology for awhile, and to finally be able to bring it directly to our customers is just awesome.”

“This is beyond digital photography – it is the future -- and to be able to create a 3D image of yourself is just amazing. We’ve had celebrities and musicians come in and get a 3D Portrait made. It’s fun, it’s inexpensive, and it’s totally cool.”

This first fully automated MakerBot 3D Photo Booth was unveiled this week.

The MakerBot 3D Photo Booth uses digital cameras to capture or scan the subject instantaneously in high-resolution data. The images are then combined to create an accurate three-dimensional model of the face, including textures.