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Posted on October 12th, 2012 by Barry Collins

BumpyPhoto: print yourself in 3D

Yesterday, I experienced one of the most terrifying moments of my pitiful life. I came out of a meeting, to be greeted by a gaggle of giggling colleagues and this:

I’m sorry you had to see that. I’m sorry I had to see that.

You may be wondering how the team managed to catch me by surprise with a 3D model of myself. After all, to accurately capture the rugged contours of my face and the muscles rippling beneath that white shirt, you’d assume I sat modelling for hours in a studio, right? In fact, no.

My crafty colleagues had managed to get the 3D model made by doing nothing more sophisticated than sending the high-res JPG of my column portrait (below) to the folks at


How, you may wonder, does the website manage to capture 3D data from a distinctly 2D image? Well, according to the site: “Our highly-skilled designers assisted by sophisticated software will model a 3D depthmap from your 2D flat photo. This is what gives the BumpyPhoto its shape and lifelike appearance.”

I’m not sure how “sophisticated” that software is, or how much is left to down to the judgement/guesswork of the designer, but the 3D model is scarily accurate. Yes, my nose really is that big. Although I do have more than one ear in real life.

BumpyPhoto uses a 3D printer to generate the models, which are made out of a slightly rough “hard plaster-like composite”, using “full 24-bit colour”. Certainly the five o’clock shadow and gentle creases in my shirt are accurately recreated.

Barry 3D model

And they don’t only print models of middle-aged magazine editors. They’ll print photos of kids, pets, cars and, perhaps a little predictably, women in bikinis, if the sample models on the website are anything to go by. They’ll even produce cut-out models.

And how much does it cost? Just shy of £50. I’ll start the bidding for Little Barry at £100.

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7 Responses to “ BumpyPhoto: print yourself in 3D ”

  1. james016 Says:
    October 15th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    It looks like someone has made a cake of you Barry.

  2. EricB Says:
    October 18th, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    What is Little Barry a 3D model of?
    Surely the bidding should start at less!

  3. Russell Says:
    October 19th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    here is something else you may be interested in it allows to to make a model head and stick it on an action man or super hero its pretty good

  4. Davey Winder Says:
    October 21st, 2012 at 10:03 am

    When I first heard that you were auctioning ‘Little Barry’ I thought it sounded a bit Not Safe For Work to be honest. Then I saw the picture, and I was right… ;)

  5. Diana Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Hehe.. this is weird but cool ! You know 3D printing is becoming more and more popular… And I think making little model of your friend like a gift for a birthday made only from a photo will be original present. And now I am creating little model army with little guns, military,characters and so on. I buy models, and I print them. I will make short action movie :)

  6. PeterGrant Says:
    March 24th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Indeed, 3D printing is not yet cost effective or suitable enough to take over from current industry standard. However, your own design can produce detailed pieces into your models whilst keeping costs low. One way to cut the cost is to order in bulk. Just like what I did, I ordered Rubber Saver Pack – Elastic-Pack 7 spools and it saves me an ample amount of Euros.

  7. LEN GILDA Says:
    September 8th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    we will be in to lawsuits from people using a photo to build a 3d modal of a person/child in a manner that person or child might feel takes away their human rights this is a two edge sword on one side great for well intention use, but flip side great evil and harm will follow the use of freely available 3d printers their are a lot of people out their in real world, not nice people with skills to use this new 3d printer and build images for them shelf’s or sell to other people images of your face and body/s that will put our standard hd photos in to stone age over night, is this what we want,, this kind of tec to be come main stream, even under control use,, Hope more then just me, can see dangers of this kind of tec, As its use in wrong hands will spawn a new kind of 3d image of humans That will be almost undetectable to find its origin maker and photoset the image was made from, May I just getting old and reading more in to this But don’t think so, uncontrolled this could be just what the devil ordered, see your shelf sitting in an rude vulgar position on a photo with some other person then caste this in to a 3d relief model of same positions made a million time and sent all over world for people ogle at and touch them, yea must be getting old


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