The cool thing about LEGO minifigures is that you can interchange and swap them with other minifig components. Consisted of a head piece, the head itself, upper torso, lower torso, and one accessory, LEGO wants to stay true in its purpose of sparking creativity and variety even with its smallest of playthings.
Chris Lightfoot of Lincoln, England decided to push the limits of LEGO minifig customization to a whole new level. During the day, he is a 3D printing specialist who develops artificial bones for the medical industry and models for architectural firms. Being a Lego fan himself, he founded his online hobby store Funky 3D Faces. Lightfoot comments, “Although we do enjoy making bones and buildings we wanted to use the technology we had to make something fun and affordable to the masses.” For just less than US$30, you can have a funky, customized look of ‘your little monster’ and turn him into a little hero. According to their website, you just need to send along two clear photographs, one of the side of your head and one taken face-on. Funky 3D Faces then converts those photos into a “eerily lifelike” 3D head, as described by CNET reporter Amanda Kooser.
The process behind the creation of these 3D pieces is equally impressive as the outcome itself. “We convert 2 photographs into 3D – then using sophisticated full-color 3D printers, we create eerily life-like 15mm high heads,” Chris explains. The head-making process even includes your choice in hair style and color. The heads are sized to be more or less 15 millimeters. It has a sandstone finish with a hole in the neck that perfectly fits on any Lego minifigure. “This means you can turn yourself into whatever Lego character you want, whether it’s a Stormtrooper or one of the Ghostbusters”, adds Kooser. Tiny as it seems, the production of this 3D figure is somehow lengthy and usually takes up to two weeks. So plan accordingly if you need it for a special occasion or as a gift.