Kar Kinkead and Peter Weijmarshausen met at their former company, Shapeways. Weijmarshausen recently resigned as CEO and was looking for something cool to do when Kinkead and he realized that the most popular application of 3D scanning and printing was in 3D figurines. These tiny representations resembling action figures were very popular printed subjects at Shapeways, but they were notoriously difficult to capture and print.
Now, thanks to improvements to scanning, color printing and software, they are surprisingly easy. So, Beheld was born.
Kinkead, the CEO, has a master's degree in industrial design and has worked in the 3D printing industry for half a decade. She helped build 3D printing procedures for places like Michael Kors and they founded Beheld in January 2017. They collected a small amount of angel funding.
The system is simple: you enter a scanner the size of a booth and take the pose. The scanner takes several pictures of your body 360 degrees and then assembles them, creating a 3D model that you can share for free with your friends. If you want to print, however, it will cost you about $ 40.
"What separates us from others in the industry is: We are doing 3D scanning an experiment," said Kinkead. "We take existing components and link them together to create a truly fun and memorable experience for consumers while simultaneously creating a turnkey business experience. We place scanners in an environment that makes them accessible to everyone. "
The vision is to have 3D scanning kiosks in shopping malls and other high traffic places. Because the service is free to try the pair think they're going to get some upsell in the process.
It was not difficult to convince users that they wanted to scan themselves. It was not even difficult to convince them to pay a few dollars for a 3D print.
"Once the idea comes to mind that they could themselves be printed in 3D, that's when I would see the real excitement in people. it's simply having a 3D print of themselves or using a 3D scan of their body to make objects that have been customized to fit them perfectly – that's when the real sparks fly, "said Kinkead
The team plans to deploy 3D scanning kiosks in locations across America and Europe. They have also created special effects that can make you appear and disappear in fireworks and clouds of smoke, to better appeal to the Snapchat generation. After all, who wants a selfie when you can make yourself appear and disappear in a cloud of particles?