Friday, November 30, 2012

MakerBot Photo Booth Powered by ShapeShot

If you are interested in 3D printing or 3D face and figure scanning then make sure to watch the below video to see the MakerBot Photo Booth (powered by our ShapeShot technology) in action.

If you look carefully you can see Direct Dimension's own Michael Raphael and Mike Agronin!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

LiDAR News: Additive Manufacturing Brings Layers of Opportunity to 3D Scanning

3D Printing is everywhere these days: on the news, on the cover of Wired, and even in its own dedicated retail space.

But how does the new popularity of 3D printing affect our field of 3D scanning and imaging? Direct Dimensions president (and frequent LiDAR News contributor) Michael Raphael tackled this topic in one of his recent columns.  

Additive Manufacturing Brings Layers of Opportunity to 3D Scanning  

There is no question that 3D scanning is coming into its own as an industry and a profession. We are seeing news about 3D scanning grow nearly every day from not only within our own industry sources such as LiDAR News, but also in more mainstream publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph. I did a quick Google search on “3D scanning” (which admittedly I do pretty often to keep up) and as usual found a whole bunch of interesting links, news, and stories. 

But if you think the news in our world is growing, you should Google “3D printing” and see what’s happening over in this sister field to us, also called “Additive Manufacturing,” or just “AM.” I say “sister field” because to me, our world of 3D scanning is all about digitizing things in our physical world INTO digital forms in the computer - where AM is all about taking 3D data OUT OF the digital world of the computer and bringing it into our physical world. 

 Right now the AM industry is undergoing an amazing explosion of interest, growth, news, and especially attention. Those of us involved in anything related to 3D scanning should be paying at least some attention to this news and watching at least some of what’s happening over there. I say this because I believe that growth in AM can and will affect growth in our world of 3D scanning. Why you say?

Click here to read the full article at LiDAR News.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Direct Dimensions Announces ShapeShot Public Launch in New York City

Fully Automated “3D Photo Booth” Ready for 3D Printing Installed at MakerBot Retail Store

Direct Dimensions, a world leader in 3D imaging, proudly announces the launch of ShapeShot – the world’s first end-to-end fully automated 3D photo booth experience in a retail store. Located in the recently opened MakerBot Store in New York City, ShapeShot brings the experience of a traditional photo booth snapshot into 3D and the amazing world of making personalized things with 3D printing, powered by MakerBot.

The launch of ShapeShot in this first retail location follows several years of development by Direct Dimensions for automating the 3D portrait process complete to 3D printing and other 3D apps. Previously only available for short periods at trade events such as SME’s RAPID Conference, people can now visit the MakerBot Store, the first 3D Printer MakerBot Store in the United States, take their ShapeShot 3D snapshot, and purchase 3D prints with their own face made on the amazing MakerBot® ReplicatorTM2 Desktop 3D Printer. ShapeShots can then be seen online at, or on the Android and Blackberry mobile apps (iOS coming soon!), or at MakerBot’s Thingiverse website

Makerbot Printed 3D Face
“Launching ShapeShot in the MakerBot Store in Manhattan is a perfect mash-up. Now for the first time,
customers can use affordable 3D printing to make something really personal – themselves! And designers and entrepreneurs can leverage these two super-hot technologies: 3D imaging and 3D printing - to create and offer personalized collectibles and other apps to consumers around the world. We are building a whole new digital ecosystem, based on 3D imaging, for creative makers,” said Michael Raphael, CEO and founder of Direct Dimensions, and creator of ShapeShot. “This is the first 3D app platform like this.”

ShapeShot 3D Face Gallery
In addition to the face-based 3D printed items available from MakerBot at the MakerBot Store featuring
ShapeShot, customers also get access to their digital 3D face data online at both the Thingiverse file sharing
community created by MakerBot, as well as the newly launched ShapeShot Market Place website. At customers can log in to view themselves in high-def color and purchase a variety of 3D face-based physical products and virtual apps. Initial products include amazing personalized jewelry such as a bracelet bead with your face, your mug on a mug, a 4-inch bronze bust, and a statue of you as revolutionary hero, among other things with many more apps coming soon.

ShapeShot is featured at the MakerBot Retail Store with Location and Hours:
The MakerBot Store
298 Mulberry St.
New York, NY 10012
Open: Mon-Sat 12 PM-7 PM; Sun 12 PM-6 PM

Founded in 1995, Direct Dimensions, Inc. has steadily grown to become a world leader in the application of 3D imaging across the widest range of applications and industries including aerospace, automotive, architecture, art/museum, medical, entertainment VFX, and historic preservation. Direct Dimensions provides uniquely specialized 3D imaging services and products for accurately capturing and modeling the reality of anything from jewelry to people to vehicles to buildings into various 3D digital formats.

MakerBot is a global leader in 3D printing technology.

Please visit our Direct Dimensions focused sites for additional information and complete contact information
at, our YouTube Channel, our DDI Blog, our IMDb page, and our Twitter feed.
And please visit our ShapeShot website for more on 3D snapshots of your face in 3D!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012: 3D Scanning for Political Animations

As this long election season draws to a close, we're reminded of a very cool project we worked on during the 2008 election cycle.

Direct Dimensions worked with famed cartoonist KAL (of The Economist) and Digital Steamworks to help create animated versions of KAL's renowned political cartoons.

DDI technicians laser scanned KAL’s hand-sculpted clay busts of Clinton, Obama and George W. Bush with a FaroArm-based laser line scanner to capture every element of the clay likeness. From there, PolyWorks software was used to digitally model the data into high-resolution polygonal mesh models. Those models were then given to an animation team and used to create the political video satires.