When people put together their business plans for setting up a 3D portrait business they will usually decide to either locate in a studio, setup in a mall, or take their full body 3D scanner to events. In this post we are going to focus on setting up in a mall and what you can do to give yourself the highest chance of success.
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.
In order to keep a 3D printed figurine looking like brand new it's important to keep it in an environment where it won't be damaged. 3D printed figurines are meant for display purposes only. While it is fine to pass them around at gatherings occasionally, they really should stay on a shelf, your fireplace mantle, or in a glass display case (bell jars work very well). When you're deciding where to display them you will want to avoid:
One of the most popular types of events for people in the 3D printed figurine industry are comic conventions. If you're trying to decide what your first event should be, comic conventions can be a great place to start because of the large crowds they can draw. Ideally you want to target comic cons that have over +5,000 people and take place of over 1-2 days. In this post we will go over what a sample comic con could look like in terms of number of people 3D scanned and revenue for you as 3D printed figurine business owner.
Starting a 3D figurine business can be really difficult especially when most customers have never heard of the concept. You will want to make sure you have a full body 3D scanner that produces good quality 3D portraits, have a reliable way to handle 3D printing fulfillment of the 3D figurines and a well though out business strategy. You can find more information about the first two in other sections of this blog. After surveying many different 3D portrait businesses, here is what they ranked as most important things to focus on:
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:
- Person stands inside full body 3D scanner and has their picture taken (<1 second)
- Photo data is processed into a Preview Model for customer to view onsite (5-10 minutes)
- Preview Model is processed into a Print Quality Model when customer orders their 3D portrait
- Print Quality Model is reviewed by a 3D artist
- Print Quality Model is submitted to full color 3D printer to be made into 3D printed figurine
Handheld 3D scanners used in 3D photography typically rely on structured light to calculate the geometry of the subject being 3D scanned. They were designed for and have numerous applications in engineering.
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. As a new or small business your margin for error is small so it's paramount to focus on activities that are low cost, but have high ROI. More importantly, you want to focus your attention on activities that give you a high chance of getting you in front of your target customer. At Twindom we've had the privilege of seeing what's worked well and not so well for our customers operating 3D selfie businesses with their full body 3D scanner.
Update: This post was originally published with 3 bullet points. We've since expanded it to 5 as we've learned more ideas on what types of marketing work for a 3D selfie business.
Here are the top 5:
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:
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.
*Note: Scroll to the end of the article for an update on the current 3D printing technologies being used for 3D printed figurines.
Here is a quick compairson of how quality and reliability compare with the Projet 660 and the other full color 3D printers: