Just like 2D scanners became affordable and mainstream and saw a rapid increase in the quality of their capabilities two decades ago, the same is now happening within the 3D scanner space. If you ever have an opportunity to use a 3D scanner, it’s actually quite fun, and I must say, addictive. Capturing people, moments in time, and all sorts of objects, in a form which will put a picture to shame, the technology promises to transform how we preserve the past.
Already there are tens of thousands of 3D models of scanned objects available for those who wish to view them, or even duplicate them via a 3D printer. As 3D printing technology continues to progress, the ability to replicate cherished objects, museum exhibits, and whatever the heck else you want, will become ever more possible and higher quality.
We’ve already seen several museums jump on board the 3D scanning wave including the Smithsonian, Peabody, and the Met, among others. While almost all the objects have been artifacts and art, the technology is now being used at one of the more interesting museums out there, Madame Tussauds, to scan people… sort of.
If any of you have ever wandered into the Madame Tussauds Museum in London, or any of the other branches located in a number of major cities around the world, you may have felt like you were among some of the most important people to ever walk the earth. That’s because in a way you are. The museums feature dozens of famous people, from athletes to presidents to royals and more, all sculpted out of wax, presented as full size statues. The intricate detail of each piece is extraordinary, displaying details which could fool anyone viewing a picture of one of the statues into believing it’s an actual person.
Today Sketchfab has released the initial scans of what should be a comprehensive collection of 3D models of the Madame Tussauds collection. The gallery is crowdsourced and asks users to “contribute to this gallery by tagging your work ‘madametussauds.'”
From Albert Einstein to Michael Jackson, Jimmy Hendrix, Steven Spielberg, and Fidel Castro, there are currently over 30 models available for download. Once downloaded, any of these models can easily be 3D printed, allowing fans of various actors, politicians, and musicians to step up their fanhood, or should be say ‘obsession,’ quite a bit.
While it may be impossible to get many of these celebrities to set time aside to actually undergo the scanning process, not to mention many are no longer with us, scanning a wax model which is nearly identical to each person is certainly the next best approach.
Let us know you thoughts on this very interesting gallery at Sketchfab. Feel free to share with us any 3D prints you have done in the Sketchfab & Madame Tussauds forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out an example of one of these 3D models below: