Family Portraits 2.0: Get Your Whole Family Immortalized In 3-D Figurine Form

3-D printing technology adds a new dimension on the long history of family portraiture. Don’t worry, the result will still be totally awkward.


Family portraits have evolved over the centuries. from paintings (for the wealthy) to black and white photos to Instagram family selfies today. But in at least one way, they’ve stayed the same: portraits are usually flat, unmoving images. Not so with the 3-D printed figurines created by DoubleMe3d, a full-body 3-D scan and print studio in the Netherlands that can create 10 to 17 cm high models of you, your family, your friends, and anyone else you want commemorated in figurine form.


DoubleMe3d is the brainchild of Dutch couple Manuel and Sabina Groeneweg. Sabina has been making body casts of pregnant women for almost a decade; it was her husband’s idea to bring in 3-D printing. Manuel explains how they ended up with their current business on the 3D Hubs blog:

“I figured that plaster casts will soon be a thing of the past,” says Manuel. “When I learned about the possibilities for making scans and printing just about anyone (not only pregnant women), I realized that she needed to step in because she could broaden her target group and move faster than her competitors.”

“With some help from other people and Instructables, we finally got a decent scanner up and running. The setup consists of an XBox Kinect and a turning platform. We use ReConstructMe as the scanning software and free tools like MeshMixer to clean up the model.”

The Groenewegs began their business scanning neighbors and friends and printing with their own 3-D printer. After the printer started having problems, they turned to two other 3-D Hubs members for help.

Brian Garret, the cofounder of 3-D Hubs, says that he’s never seen anything quite like this: “Not in this quality, not in this detail. There’s a couple scans online that are okay, but the quality is really impressive, and the fact that they can do whole families in combination.”

Want to get your family scanned? Take a trip to the town of Bleiswijk in the Netherlands and the Groenewegs will do it for you: 85 euros for a full body figurine, 30 euros for a keychain head. Check out their website here.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more