Evolving 3-D printing technology is pretty darn amazing, from household doodads and clothing all the way to houses and body parts. We can’t print full humans— yet—but Doob-3D™ a German 3-D printing company with two stores in New York City and seven more across the United States, promises to capture the real you in a core resin polymer figurine. It’s 3-D narcissism, a “selfie” in the round.
Enter the onsite “Dooblicator,™” which looks a little like an airport scanner, and a few weeks later receive your freshly printed mini-me. So-called Doobs™ range in price from a $99 4-inch “Buddy” to a 14-inch $699 “Diva.” They’re not exactly cheap, but, I suppose, a perfect gift for that person in your life who has everything. Why collect Lalique birds or Herend bunnies when you can gather up your own life stages?
The Upper East Side store features the material timeline of “Heather,” (photo below). You see figurines of Heather pregnant, holding a baby, and then with growing family. Looking at a row of aging tiny Heathers made me feel a little nervous, like pet taxidermy or The Twilight Zone. I can easily imagine a Black Mirror episode where Doobs—kissing couples, siblings off to school, beloved huggable dogs—come alive at night on their little shelves and march off to subsume their flesh and blood hosts.
Creepiness aside, there’s also something sweet and sentimental going on here. Time is a killer beast. Like photos and videos, making your own 3-D Doob is a proud, defiant move. Her children may grow up, marry, and have children of their own. But Heather will be able to hold her unwrinkled pregnant self forever in her hands.