Asda Jewel to do 3D ‘mini-me’ printing full-time

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Asda’s branch at The Jewel is set make 3D printing a ­permanent fixture alongside the fruit and veg.

The move follows a successful trial, with those taking part including Evening News reporter John-Paul Holden, who pocketed a version of himself in doll form.

News reporter John-Paul Holden with his mini-me statue. Picture: Jane Barlow

News reporter John-Paul Holden with his mini-me statue. Picture: Jane Barlow

Staff have created models of around 80 customers since a handheld scanner was launched at the store in May as shoppers queued up to try the groundbreaking technology.

Now a walk-in scanner – described as being similar to those found in airport security lounges – will be permanently based there from October, allowing customers to buy an eight-inch model of themselves.

The store’s general manager, Callum Nicholson, expects the device to prove popular, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

He said: “We have had about 80 people down so far since May, but I believe a lot of people want it for presents and it’s good to catch their children at certain ages.

“We’ve seen adults as well, so we reach across the whole demographic.

“It’s something that’s really starting to grow and we are anticipating that with Christmas coming, people will probably want to have it done for presents, especially if you have got relatives abroad.

“It’s scarily accurate and it’s unique – I would say it’s probably more beneficial for people who are in uniforms or children with party dresses, but we have had couples done before.”

Customers have even been dressing for the occasion, with one man coming dressed as a Star Wars Stormtrooper to snap up a £60 ‘mini me’.

Once shoppers are scanned, the images are sent to England where the figurine is ‘printed’ and hand-painted before being returned to the store two weeks later.

Photography graduate and store scanner Amie Prescott, 20, said her job delivered a lot of laughs.

She said: “It’s quite fun and it’s quite good to see people’s reactions when they see the models and when people get them as gifts.”

Colin Crosland, design consultant at city firm Cramasie, said Asda was taking 3D printing to the next level by making it a commercial venture.

He said: “Whilst I’ve no idea how customers will take to this, it does seem quite a cool, innovative service in creating mini-mes.

“If I could get my kids to stand still for long enough, I’d probably get one of them.”