Everything you need to start a 3D printed figurine business

The 3D figurine market has grown rapidly over the last year and is expected to continue as full body 3D scanners become more portable, 3D printed figurines become cheaper and end consumers become more familiar with the technology. There has never been a better time to start a 3D figurine business. In this post we are going to go over the 3 major parts of every 3D printed figurine business. They are the:

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How 3D figurines are made on the Projet 660 full color 3D printer

Full color 3D printing is a much more involved process than printing out photos on a 2D photo printer. Reliability for full color 3D printers is between 65% and 75% and there is a significant learning curve if you're new to the industry. For most 3D figurine companies it usually doesn't make sense to do your own full color 3D printing unless it isn't physically possible to have 3D printed figurines shipped to you. If you're a Twindom customer, you automatically get access to Twindom's worldwide network of full color 3D print partners that ship worldwide. The main reason for this is because of the time investment it takes to be able to print reliably on a Projet 660 (the full color 3D printer of choice for 3D printed figurines). That said it's still important you understand how the process works in case you decide it ever does make sense to do your own full color 3D printing. Here are the major steps:

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Why the Projet 660 full color 3D printer is used for 3D figurines

When people look at starting a 3D printed figurine business they often wonder why almost all companies use the Projet 660 even though there are other full color 3D printers on the market. Other full color 3D printers that people typically come across are the Mcor Iris, Mcor Arke, or the 3D Pandoras. While each of these other printer can produce full color 3D prints, the Projet 660 is the only printer that can produce high enough resolution 3D printed figurines in a consistent enough fashion that satisfy most end consumers. Here is a quick compairson of how quality and reliability compare with the Projet 660 and the other full color 3D printers:

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How 3D models are stored before they become 3D printed figurines


 

In this post we are going to learn about the different components of a 3D model before it becomes a 3D printed figurine. To start off, here is an overview on how the data flows from the time a capture is taken on a full body 3D scanner to the time the 3D model is printed out on a full color 3D printer:

  1. Person stands inside full body 3D scanner and has their picture taken (<1 second)
  2. Photo data is processed into a Preview Model for customer to view onsite (5-10 minutes)
  3. Preview Model is processed into a Print Quality Model when customer orders their 3D portrait
  4. Print Quality Model is reviewed by a 3D artist
  5. Print Quality Model is submitted to full color 3D printer to be made into 3D printed figurine

 

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The 8 steps for turning raw 3D scans into 3D printed figurines

In this post we are going to give an overview on what needs to happen to a raw 3D scan before it becomes a full color 3D printed figurine.

One of the most overlooked items when people set up their 3D figurine business is how much time and effort it takes to turn a raw 3D scan into a product their end customer is happy with.  All of the steps outlined in this article are automatically done for you if you are using Twindom's fulfillment services and worldwide network of 3D print partners. If you are not using Twindom's fulfillment services, then you should expect it to take multiple hours of manual digital post-processing to turn the raw data produced by your full body 3D scanner into something that will turn out well when printed on a full color 3D printer. This is almost the complete opposite of regular photography where we are used to being able to instantly print beautiful looking photographs when only spending a few minutes in Adobe Photoshop to touch them up.

Here is the list of everything you need to do for making 3D figurines from raw 3D scans:

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How much would it cost to run a 3D figurine business without Twindom?

When people are evaluating full body 3D scanners for starting 3D figurine businesses they often overlook the time cost for setting up their full body 3D scanner, managing 3D scan files and keeping track of which scans belong to which customers. Below is a table comparing the upfront, monthly and time costs for operating a 3D printed figurine business: 

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3 Marketing Ideas for your 3D Selfie Business

Like any business, a 3D selfie business can be hard to get off the ground without the proper marketing. Using traditional marketing tactics such as billboards or radio ads can prove especially costly for a new business. At Twindom we've had the privelege of seeing what's worked well and not so well for all of our Twinstant partners. Here are the top 3:

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Overview: Hybrid Full Body 3D Scanners

Hybrid 3D scanning systems work by combining photogrammetry and structured light methods. This is the technology that Twindom uses on it's full body 3D scanners used to make 3D portraits.

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Overview: DSLR Photogrammetry 3D Full Body Scanners

A DSLR full body 3D scanner relies on photogrammetry to create a 3D scan. Photogrammetry works by finding shared features between multiple photographs to calculate depth. It is predominantly used in the visual effects industry.

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Overview: Turntable-based 3D Body Scanners

Turntable-based 3D body scanners rely on the same technology as handheld 3D scanners (structured light), however they typically use less expensive hardware such as a Microsoft Kinect, Primesense, Asus Xtion, or Intel Realsense sensor to calculate depth.

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