For $28,000, you can buy yourself a small home in Florida, a brand new Chevrolet Spark electric car or almost 23 shares of stock in Google (GOOG).
Or, for a more niche way to spend that same amount of dough, you can now have a life-sized replica of yourself 3D-printed.
As featured on 3DPrint.com, the Chinese company Pinla3D has opened a new mall shop in Nanjing, China, that offers several sizes in which one may 3D print a copy of oneself. Prices range from $160 for a 5-inch duplicate all the way up to roughly $28,550 for a full-on, life-sized clone.
The in-store customer scanning process requires just a few minutes, but the 3D printing itself takes two to three weeks (so plan those creepy anniversary gifts accordingly).
On the Pinla3D website, you can take a look at many of the different examples of statues the company has printed. Most are in the Mini-Me series, including "family portrait," "positive youth" and "sports" (according to the English translation). The prints look good, and according to 3DPrint.com, are composed of a high-strength polymer material, which gives the finished product a feel similar to ceramic.
Even though Pinla3D is possibly the first company to offer life-sized 3D-printed human replicas, many others have made a run at marketing personal replica busts or mini-clone prints.
Earlier this month, The New York Times covered Shapify, a company that builds personal human replicas from Xbox Kinect images. The appeal here is that, for only $79, you can scan yourself at home (as long as you have an Xbox Kinect) and send away for your print, which should take no longer than five days to arrive. Shapify's prints don't look quite as impressive as what Pinla3D produces, nor does it have as many size options (the company offers only a 1:20 scale statue). But you can't beat the price and convenience of not having to fly to China to get this done.
As another option, if you're a resident of the Northeast, or wouldn't mind planning a trip up, the three MakerBot retail locations in NYC, Boston and Greenwich, Conn., all have a neat 3D Photo Booth. Right in the store, you can scan your head and shoulders to map out a monochromatic 3D bust of yourself. The scan costs $5, and the prints, which have to be ordered in, range from $20 to $60, depending on the size.
So this is an exciting time to be an extremely vain techie. Never mind the boom of the selfie: With this many options in human replica 3D printing, selfie statues — maybe even of the life-sized variety — might just be the next big thing.