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3D Modeling Giving New Dimensions To Photography

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Family portraits, team pictures, and wedding photos. We've all taken them and put them in a frame or scrapbook.

But now there's a new way to make those pictures come to life.

A Bloomington company has combined different types of photography, and the result is family pictures that literally come in all shapes and sizes.

These 3D images could change the way we pose for photos.

Brianna Ladd and Brandon Malin have 3D images of themselves. They look like tiny statues that include the smallest of details.

"I didn't expect the intricacy of the stick," Malin said, holding a 3D image of himself in hockey gear. "You can even see the Bauer lettering on it. And it definitely looks like me."

Oliver Turan is the vice president of CAD Technology Center. His company specializes in architectural building scanning. But within the last couple months, the company has expanded from properties to people.

"We are the only ones in the Twin Cities that I know of that's scanning and printing the people," he said.

Turan said people are surprised when they see what the technology can capture.

"Whether it's a wedding cake topper for a wedding or graduation pictures," he said.

Those are just a few of the possibilities.

Turan says his company has melded different types of photography together. Digital photography plus 3D printing has created what CAD is calling the "Me-3Ds".

It works like this: You stand in the center of the scanning room while 60 different cameras capture an image of you at the same time, from different angles.

The process takes about 30 seconds, and the subject has to stand totally still for three of them.

Software then takes all of those images and creates a 3D model.

They models are then printed with a fine layer of gypsum mineral with the color already embedded in the model.

"When we show something like this to a grandparent, their eyes light up," Turan says.

A mobile scanner can be taken to capture weddings or other events.

The company is opening a 3D printing store at the Mall of America next Monday. They envision bobbleheads and even possibly action figures down the road.

3D Printing
(credit: CBS)

"We can take your head and put it on an athlete's body or a storm trooper or something like that." Turan said.

The possibilities seems endless.

"This is really something that you can really immerse yourself in," Turan said. "What [a person] looked like at this point in time. It's really capturing them as true to life as possible."

For more specific prices on the 3D models, you can check out their website at

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