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Africa's first Shapify Booth goes live in Nigeria

The Nigerian city of Ikeja is taking the forefront of 3D scanning and printing technology now that a Shapify scanning point has opened at its main mall. The U.S. based 3D Makery, who successfully landed a Shapify Booth in Houston, TX in September, are expanding their business with the launch of Africa’s first Shapify Booth in Ikeja.

Ikeja City Mall shoppers now have a great opportunity to capture life’s most cherished occasions like graduation, marriage and pregnancy in vibrant detail and high quality while also creating a timeless keepsake., a 3D printing news portal, has published a report about the grand opening of the Shapify scanning point. Here's their story:

Just like 3D Printing up until a few years ago, 3D scanning has always been a technology too expensive for the average consumer to realistically enjoy.

Throughout the last few years however, 3D scanning with the Kinect and other applications like Autodesk’s 123D Catch have been winning over Makerspaces and techno-hobbyists worldwide.

During this period, there has never been a question that the most popular thing being 3D scanned and 3D printed was the human bust and then eventually an entire person.

I myself remember the enthusiasm and excitement that surrounded me when I first scanned and printed some friends of mine back in 2012. Their genuine, joyous reactions were contagious and obvious from the start.

But just like everything else during the technology’s early consumer days, quality had always been an issue. The 3D scan wasn’t great and the 3D print consistency lacked as well.

Fast forward to 2015 and things have already changed drastically. This is partly because of Artec Group, a long established veteran in the 3D scan sphere.

When they introduced their intuitive 3D scanning stations, print vendors already in existence could suddenly combine their commercial printers with a scanning solution targeted at the curious consumer.

It wasn’t long before shapify stations started popping up around the globe.

These booths, designed to capture in full-colour by using four wide-view, high-resolution scanners that rotate around the person to capture them from all angles in just a matter of minutes have taken the grainy single-colour scans I was exposed to a whole new level.

The exciting news unfolding this week is that first of these stations on the African continent has opened up in Nigeria.

This was done by US based 3D Makery in the ever expanding state of Lagos to much fanfare. Regional celebrities like Juliet Ibrahim and Bryan Okwara, along with a host of others, were present at their 3D Shapify unveiling at the Ikeja City Mall.

And if 3DMakery and Nigerian born founder Israel Oviri has his way, this is just the beginning.

Oviri has worked in the space for some time now and understands the new scanning stations and the technology that surrounds it will disrupt positively the lifestyle of people in the region. “We’re thrilled bringing this advanced 3D tools and knowledgeable support team to help grow Nigeria’s technology business.”

He has further gone on to say that “rather than a half cocked snapshot you can have a 3D printed sculpture to either keep as your own or give as a gift,” and that the technology “will even pick up things like a logo on a shirt or the jersey of your favourite sports team.”

And while these 3D scanned and printed selfies are exciting and state-of-the-art, Israel Oviri sees the big picture as well.

He’s spoken about Africa missing out on earlier industrial revolutions and that it’s time for that to change.

In a recent interview, he went on to suggest it has to start on the education side of things. It has to start with the younger generation and how an “emphasis on science, on technology, on engineering and on mathematics” is integral for continued growth; to bring Nigeria, and the continent as its whole to its full potential.

He also understands that the technology is still in its infancy and that African governments need to get on board and emphasize 3D printing facilities so the emerging generation can grow up with the tools necessary to flourish in the modern age.

Nigeria has steadily been growing its economy and currently has the 22nd largest GDP (PPP) in the world. It seems to be the perfect country to make inroads and expand on what is surely still the early days of 3D printing on the continent.

3DMakery founder and serial entrepreneur understands this and if his enthusiasm for the technology is any indication, a bright future lies ahead in a region wrought with a turbulent past and a present-day that is tangled with an unfairly negative international stigma.

Efforts like these should be seen as a stepping stone in producing positive change, one 3D selfie at a time.

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