3D printed selfies for 700 students in Amsterdam

Remember the fun and excitement taking class photographs in school. School photos play an integral part in a kid’s life as they will be able to admire them for life. However, this might be completely different for the next generation. Inception of idea of the 3d printed models of the school kids has led to a new approach to school photographs. Amsterdam’s Steigereiland primary school is the first school in Netherlands where 700 kids got a 3D printed selfie. It is made with a scanning both instead of a photo. The only drawback is you have to wait until you turn comes as it scans one person at a time.

3D printed selfies

3D scanning booth has been used to take school photos for the first time; it seems to be an appealing concept that could become a trend quickly. This is not the first time that Netherlands is using 3D scanning booths; they have been an attractive idea in malls and theme parks. In September 2015, Shapeways had opened 3D scanning booths all over Netherlands.

Heading the Project is a Dutch startup Nieuwe Schoolfoto (New School Photo). Co-founder and photographer David Tins(30) explains, it’s all about making school photos more pleasant and contemporary. “In most schools, the concept of school photos hasn’t changed since my experience in the 1980s: boring portrait photos made by a boring photographer. We want to put a fun twist on a usually boring event,” he says. And 3D printing, he adds, is a perfect technology to enable this. “3D printing is the future, so it’s a perfect tool for taking photos into the future. We even make multiple scans, to give parents the opportunity to choose – just like they can with regular photos.”

3D scanning and printing is being applied in such a large scale for the first time and that too for School Photography. Jan Vermeij, the owner of Nieuwe Schoolfoto explains that it is a simple process – where the kids enters a booth, that features dozens of cameras , scanning takes 4 seconds but it takes another 15 minutes to build the scan and so it takes a long time next child can step in. The best part of the concept is that each child can pose individually and anything that they would like to pose. “I want a statue for on my new bedroom,” the ten-year-old Luna said. “I’m going to pose like this,” she said while balling her fists like a boxer. It’s a more fun way of capturing an image of your kids at an early age. “The new school photo of the future isn’t just a sheet of faces. It’s a life-like, 3D printed miniature that comes in several sizes,” Vermeij argues.

3D printed selfies

Nieuwe Schoolfoto provided a free digital version of the 3D scan to all the parents during the first event and left it over for the parents to decide whether or not to do anything with it. If yes 3D printed versions will be made through collaboration with ZB45, Makerspace based on the Zeeburgerpad in Amsterdam. These 3D models are not cheap enough and it being the only downside. The smallest model i.e. about 10cm tall costs €60 (approximately $65 USD). As it is not the kids who are worried about the costs, it might put some pressure on the parents. If you have 2 or 3 three kids in school it’s definitely going to be an expensive annual event. “But then you do have a photo-realistic miniature of yourself. What’s more, we expect that technological developments will push down costs over the next few years,” Tins adds. “It’s great to see how kids are responding to this new technological innovation,” dad Jasper Lamers said. “But I do wonder if the grandparents don’t prefer a portrait picture of their grandchildren, instead of an action figure on the mantle.”

3D printed selfies

Also another option for parents who can’t miss €60. “We can also make a moving digital image of the scan, for about six euros,” Tins adds. The digital model can also give the kids a whole new gaming experience. In Steigereiland school, in one classroom the kids can see 3D printers, in another how 3D scans are used to create a life-like mode of kids. Also, the 3D scans are being used to turn kids into footballers in the latest Fifa game. This gives them the ability to dream about playing for Ajax, or another club. So welcome the new near future of school photography.

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