Sony Music Communications Inc. started selling the 3-D Print Figure product last year in which a figure is sculpted using full-color 3-D scanners. To create the figure, the scanner first obtains data through the scanning of a person from head to toe.
Then a computer models the data and outputs images through a 3-D printer using color ink, special bonding materials and white plaster powder. The price for a figure ranges from ¥49,000 to ¥120,000 ($600–$1500), depending on the size. According to Yosuke Takuma, who planned this business for Sony Music Communications, these 3-D figures are popular among people who want to mark such special occasions as weddings and matriculation ceremonies.
Koji Iwabuchi and his wife Yumi visited the studio from Suginami Ward, Tokyo, to order figures to commemorate their 20th wedding anniversary. “It’s like photography at the end of the Edo period as we cannot move at all,” Koji Iwabuchi said. “It’s interesting to feel like Ryoma Sakamoto. In the future, it might become an ordinary thing, but it’s fun that few people have experienced this,” he said. Ryoma Sakamoto (1836-1867) is known as the subject of some famous photos from that time.