August 28, 2014

GHI: Twindom Printed Figures

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Written by: Kristin
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You may have seen them at a local convention. A booth set up to take a 3D scan of cosplayers, to be later printed out as a detailed figurine. One of these companies, Twindom, makes the rounds in California and Texas, and was present at Dallas Comic Con’s Fan Appreciation Day on August 9, 2014. I wandered the floor as Poison Ivy that day, and Twindom was kind enough to offer me a scan and a small figurine of myself to examine. I stood on a small, rotating circular platform for about three minutes while a camera scanned my body from top to bottom. The pose I chose, you’ll note, isn’t very dynamic, but the pose must be held perfectly still for the entirety of the scan, or the scan will not come out clean (I actually had to do this twice because the first time my head moved too much and the scan was distorted).


What I received (And quickly, I might add!) was a tiny but remarkably detailed figure of myself as Poison Ivy. After your scan, you are able to immediately review and approve the image, and within a couple of days the image is sent to your email. A link and code are provided so that you may place an order for the size of figure you would like to receive, and it’s at your door within a week or two. Mine came in a small box, wrapped in bubble wrap and padded with paper. The figures are made out of powdered plaster and glue (though a wax base can be used if, for example, you want to use them as cake toppers), and are very lightweight. Uses for the figures I came up with: board game pieces, Heroclix figures, DnD miniatures (the smallest size is about 7cm tall, but the base is small enough to fit a one-by-one mat square), having your own personal statue in whatever you want to look like (your favorite cosplay, your prom dress, to commemorate a life event).


The costume as I wore it that day (photo with/from Daniel/Captain America).

I was also able to talk with Russ Ramirez, the senior official for Twindom’s Texas branch. I asked him about the company and what they offer, so you can see the information straight from the source.

ComicAttack: What exactly is Twindom, and how does the process work? 

Russ Ramirez: Twindom is a new 3D scanning and printing (specifically of people) technology that was developed/introduced in September, 2013 by Twindom, based in Berkeley, CA.  The product is a 3D full-color printed figurine/action figure of YOU.  We call it the “Ultimate Selfie.”  Here’s how it works: You come into our 3D photo studio in Houston or Dallas and get 3D scanned (takes approximately 3 ½ minutes for the scan, approximately 6 minutes total), OR you get scanned at one of our mobile 3D photo kiosks which we take to various shows (i.e. Comic Cons, corporate conferences), or events (weddings, banquets, etc.).  You stare in amazement as a preview of your 3D self is processed and displayed right before your eyes on our large flat screen monitor.  The 3D video image you see represents the replica of you in figurine form that we will 3D print after you place an order.  We can take your order on-site after you see your preview, or you can choose to order on-line at a later time/date. You can select from five different size figurines, starting at only $39 for the “mini” size, to $119 for your “X-Tall” size mini-me.  We can also provide you with your 3D digital file in .PLY format for only $20.  


The finished figure.

CA: What sort of national reach does Twindom have, and what sort of localized reach do you have as a Twindom vendor?

RR: Twindom’s current national reach is California and Texas.  The Twindom Berkeley, CA office provides services for California.  We are Twindom Texas, and we focus on providing our services across Texas.  We currently have D/FW (Carrollton) and Houston 3D photo studios.  We bring our 3D mobile scanning system to Comic Cons and other events across Texas.       

CA: What sets Twindom apart from other 3D printing companies? 

RR: We offer, by far, the lowest price points.  Our turnaround (time from when you place the order, to when you receive your figurine) is much faster.  We have multiple mobile 3D scanning systems, and attend events across the state almost every weekend.     


Size comparison (next to Heroclix, POP! figure, and DnD mini).

CA: Looking forward, what’s the next step for you and Twindom to improve efficiency of the scan and quality of the product?

RR: We are always working to improve the process and finished product.  We’ll soon have a new larger “turntable” to better accommodate scanning of couples.  We are looking to reduce the scan time, which can help minimize “bad” scans.  As 3D printer technology continues to improve, so will the quality of the figurines we provide.  We will soon offer eCard 3D animations of YOU: An eCard with a video of your avatar doing flips, throwing a pass to your favorite NFL player, etc.     

CA: What’s your advice for getting the best scan/product possible?

RR: Stay as still as possible while be scanned.  When you get on the turntable, get into a comfortable position/pose that you can hold for about 3 ½ minutes.  


Thanks Russ! And thank you Twindom!


You can just make out the necklace I’m wearing, although the vine I drew on the side of my face didn’t make it into the capture. It isn’t very detailed, but that it showed up at all surprised me. So did the butterflies and flowers in my hair.


More detail that I didn’t think would make it into such a small figure – you can see the varied colors of the leaves in my bracers.



One Comment

  1. That is pretty cool! At first I thought someone had hand carved those but this is still a nice thing for fans to get at a con!

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