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Make yourself a mini-me as the UK’s first 3D printer goes on sale today

Posted at 6:15 pm, July 9, 2013 in Fun London, Technology
© Glenn Copus / London Evening Standard

© Glenn Copus / London Evening Standard

Not a day goes by here at Time Out Towers without us wanting miniature versions of ourselves. No, not just because we’re vain and like staring at ourselves but, you know, mini-battles with each other would be fun. Over in east London, scanning company Levavo and 3D printing firm Cadvanture have been making awesome mini-mes at the My3DTwin studio. But can you imagine how excited we were when we found out that the UK’s first 3D printer is to hit the high street shelves today so we can make them ourselves?!

Yes. The invention that has reinvented everything from customisable dolls to organ transplants is coming to our shores for a mere £700 per printer. Maplin will be the retail home of the self-assembly Velleman K8200 which can construct 3D models in plastic so you can actually make yourself into a bonafide action figure. Hurrah! But, before you celebrate too hard, be aware that the technology has already been used for evil, as 3D guns have been printed in the US, one of which went on display in the Science Museum today.

3D gun © Science Museum

The 3D printed gun is believed to be the first of its kind to be fired in Europe and will be on display in the Antenna gallery where it will explore the issues surrounding the availability of information on the internet and the implications of design-sharing and home manufacturing. Don’t worry too much, though, as we suspect a home printer and a dodgy file from the internet are more likely to cause artistic mishaps than anything dangerous. Carly-Ann Clements

Check out the Science Museum’s upcoming 3D events and buy yourself a printer at maplin.co.uk or order a mini me at levavo.com/my3dtwin.

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