Shoppers will soon be able to have 3D versions of any object, up to the size of a family car, printed at WalMart/Asda stores. However, the object will, of course, be scaled down to an eight-inch figure.

3D Printing Service

The shopping giant showcased the technology by taking pictures of models, before revealing the finished figurines. It anticipates that the technology will be used by its customers as a new and innovative way of having pictures taken.  The company anticipates that personalised wedding toppers could be one of the most popular uses for the technology. The 3D printing process involves Walmart/Asda taking a full 3D scan of the object or person to be recreated.  The process is said to take a couple of minutes. The printer then recreates the 3D form by spraying layers of ceramic fluid in thin layers until a solid object has been completed. The supermarket has released a video to show off the process.

“Evolving well beyond simply filling frames with photographs of friends and family, 3D printed ‘mini me’ figures will add a whole new dimension to shoppers’ mantelpieces and the lifelike models are also expected to be popular as personalised wedding cake toppers,” Walmart/Asda said in a press release. The supermarket will begin offering the service as a trial next week, on October 15th, before expanding it to stores across its UK stores.

“Since the 3D printing trend travelled over the Atlantic to the UK, it has fast become the latest craze among designers and technology experts,” a spokesperson for the company added. “This truly is innovation without limits and Asda hopes to be the first retailer to offer this service nationwide.”

The technology has been in development for the last 18 months according to the supermarket giant.

[Image via: qz]