Get a tiny replica of yourself at new Romford mini-me doll shop
A construction worker-turned-entrepreneur has opened a business making personalised 3D printed figurines.
Zigmantas Velavicius set up Doubl3D in Romford’s Mercury Shopping Centre in June, inviting customers to enter his photobooth and create their very own mini-me.
The father-of-two said he decided to start the business during the pandemic, as construction work had dried up and he was stuck at home during lockdown.
He said: “I wanted to try something different and exciting, and there was pretty much nothing like this in the UK.
“I did some research, and found this set-up is the latest, the cheapest and best quality in the world at the moment.
“My family and I posed for some pictures we could use as samples, and I was really pleased with how they came out.”
However, days after the booth was finalised at the end of last year, another national lockdown hit the UK and Zigmantas was unable to work.
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“I had to pay rent for two months, and it was just sitting there with no customers,” he explained.
“It was really hard and I worried if I had made the right choice.”
Now the business is finally up and running, and the owner has been busy printing whole families and even pets.
His wife Neda Velaviciene was very supportive of his new venture, as was his six-year-old daughter Elija, who both patiently posed for sample figurines.
“My daughter was so excited when we received the final product in the post that she knocked it off the table and it snapped,” he laughed.
The family also welcomed baby Atene last month, so the delicate figurines are now kept out of harm’s way.
The printing process is similar to having a regular photo taken - customers arrive in their favourite outfit and enter the customised 3D booth.
A total of 89 cameras then take pictures of the client, capturing them at every angle, and the entire process takes less than one second.
Customers choose the model size they would like, ranging from three-inch to nine-inch figurines.
Once happy with their images, the designs are sent to California to be made into 3D photographs, which arrive within a couple of weeks.