When you visit the Peoria Riverfront Museum be sure to say hello to “Return Visit”, Peoria’s newest sculpture. It stands on the grounds of the Museum. The statue represents the common man learning from Abraham Lincoln.
For thousands of years, a sculpture, either in stone or metal, was how iconic people of the past was immortalized. It’s how we know what Caesar and Socrates look like. With the development of photography, now, we know what our great grandparents looked like, even if they weren’t famous.
But you have to be a little famous, or rich, to have a sculpture made of you, or at least that used to be the case.
Terry Stuff, the owner of Mini Me, brings the common man and woman to life by using 3D printing. As Terry explains, it all started with a vacation to Key West Florida.
“We were walking past a shop [and] he was trying to sell his wares to everybody,” says Terry Stuff. “He was holding up this ‘mini-him’ of him and I could tell it looked like him across the street. I said, ‘let’s go in here,’ and that sold me right away.”
Now, Terry has brought 3D printing portraits, which he calls the “ultimate selfie”, to Illinois. He wants to see his little figurines on the shelves of parents, grandparents, newlyweds, and new parents, and others.
Here’s how it works, if you’re the one being photographed, you step onto a rug in the center of his device. All at once over 170 cameras go off at the same time, capturing you from all sides.
“Immediately after the scanning is done, 178 individual pictures goes up into the cloud [which] simulates all 178 pictures into a 3D image,” says Terry.
A couple of weeks after Bob Larson and Tom McIntyre, got photographed, they headed out to the Mini-Me shop, in Northwoods Mall, to take a look at the finished project.
It was us all right, So then the question was: what to do with them?
They decided to give them to WMBD General Manager Kevin Harlan.
They figured their little statuettes would make a nice addition to his office, especially if he was thinking about Christmas bonuses at the time.
“This is going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” according to Harlan.
If you’re giving the statue as a gift to someone you know that might be the reaction you’ll get.