Monthly News Roundup – August 2016

Welcome to our first Funky3DFaces monthly news roundup. We thought we’d bring all our news, events and interesting snippets together each month in a quick, easy-to-read format, so here goes…

July’s been a great month, kicked off by Lincoln ComicCon where we were totally star struck at meeting Red Dwarf heroes Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Hattie Hayridge (Holly) and Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) to present them with their own 3D heads. We were thrilled that they were thrilled! We’re really looking forward to seeing series XI of Red Dwarf on Dave this September. But that wasn’t the most amazing part of Lincoln ComicCon for Funky3DFaces MD Chris, who came face to face with Darth Vader, otherwise known as Dave Prowse. While Chris was overawed to chat with one of his scarier childhood heroes, he was even more blown away when Darth…er, Dave, placed an order for a 3D head on the spot! Next month we’ll be heading down the road to Newark ComicCon (UK) held at Newark Showground on August 7 – details here. If you see us there, swing by and say hello! We’re also planning to be at the UK’s biggest celebration of LEGO – Brick Live at the NEC, Birmingham, in late October – details here.

Rimmer TimeDave Prowse A.K.A. DARTH VADER!Kryten from Red Dwarf!

Meanwhile, Chris was delighted to be on the cover of Lincolnshire Business News and talking about the amazing success story of Funky3DFaces in the magazine’s main feature. Lincolnshire Business News is one of the most widely read online publications across the county and it recently also covered our success in the Lincolnshire Digital Awards, where we won the Best Digital Startup Award. If you’ve visited the website recently, you’ll have spotted that we have enlarged our range of hair and style choices. This is largely down to the work of one of our new team members, Jonathan Hutchinson, who, with a degree in Product Design, has thrown himself into widening our range, so if you see yourself as The Joker, Superman, Cat Woman or Princess Leia, you can be. Jonathan is currently working on how to add glasses to our models something we know that our customers want. As a result, we think we’ll be bringing you the glasses option soon. Does this mean you could be Clark Kent as well as Superman? You betcha!

Funky3Dfaces July newsletter

Do you follow us on Facebook? If so, you’ll know that we run competitions from time to time. We’re delighted to announce that the winner of our recent Disney Stitch competition is the young, cool, Jamie Jacques! Our Happy Customer of the Month is Joy Brown’s partner! Joy didn’t tell us your name, but we’re glad you loved your surprise gift of a 3D head and we’d like to say that you’re looking good, dude! If you want to make your BBF’s day, take a look at our great offers and check out our multi-buy option, offering great savings so you can thrill a whole bunch of people in one go: family, friends, kids, your band, a team… you decide!

Funky3Dfaces July newsletterFunky3Dfaces July newsletter

And finally…we couldn’t resist showing you this cute little fella. His family wanted us to make a 3D head of him, complete with crew cut hair, but regretfully we had to disappoint them. At this point our technology only recognises human features, but we’d love to be able to offer you the animal head option some time in the future – so watch this space for technology updates. We love to hear your stories and see your photographs and videos, so please keep sending them to us – you could be our next Happy Customer of the Month! Talk to us on Twitter or Facebook and check out our Instagram as well as latest news, competitions, giveaways and see what other customers are saying and doing with their Funky3DFaces!

Funky3Dfaces July newsletter

See you next time…

Love you so much I want two of you!

I hope you’ve seen our gift e-VOUCHER,  possibly the easiest way to give your bestie/lover/cousin/father/significant other a unique gift experience – a tiny version of themselves. What’s not to love about someone who loves you so much they want two of you!

All you have to do is purchase a gift e-VOUCHER and a few moments after you complete the checkout process you will receive a number of emails with your gift e-VOUCHER codes. Each code can be redeemed for one Mini Head. You then forward the code to your recipient. The email contains all the instructions they need to get started with ordering their own Mini Head, and they will be able to choose their own hairstyle and colour.  That’s all you have to do. Easy and very, very special.

Every day we are amazed at our customers’ creativity with their personalised mini-figures. If you’ve ever swung by our Facebook page you’ll know that we love to feature some of the amazing images and videos that our cool customers devise and tenderly create. This week we’re loving the photo that a US customer, Ryan Williams of Wilbraham, MA, sent us showing his mini-me out on patrol and packing a serious looking piece of hardware. Check it out here. And if your mini-figures are out and about having adventures, please share them with us!

Next month we’ll be dressing up and having our own adventure when we visit the aptly-named Epic Centre in Lincolnshire for Lincoln Comic-Con 2016. We’re sorting out our ‘epic’ costumes already. We’d love to know if you’re planning to come too!

 

False teeth, bikinis, pills and skin – is there anything that 3D printing technology can’t do?

While we’re beavering away making our delightfully quirky personalised 3D heads for you, our parent company, Elat3d Ltd, continues to work on producing a very different range of products – architectural models and medical models of bones.

The 3D bones we produce provide the medical community with valuable, cost-effective teaching aids and are widely used, while architects rely on our accurate and visually exciting 3D scale models to showcase their designs. Other innovative 3D technologies are growing across the globe, and there’s no doubt that 3D printing is capable of revolutionising our lives in so many ways.  So, what is 3D printing and how does it work? Here comes the science…

3D printing starts with a virtual design of the object, then the 3D object is created by the laying down of successive thin layers of material until the object is completed.  Taking our heads as an example, we start with a set of 2D images -photos – and using digitising software, we turn these into 3D images.

The digital file is then prepared for 3D printing by the software ‘slicing’ the digital object into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers. The ‘sliced’ file is uploaded to the 3D printer, which reads every slice, and prints out each layer until the 3D object is finished. There are various types of 3D printers, but they all work in a broadly similar way, with the most common being a 1986 technology called stereolithography (SLA), which uses a UV laser to ‘cure’ the photo-reactive resin that ‘prints’ the object, layer by layer.

Some IT companies, including Microsoft, have already enabled their hardware to perform 3D scanning, making it only a matter of time before even the smartphone in your pocket has an integrated 3D scanner that you could use to digitise your 2D images.

The uses of 3D printing are numerous and range from life-saving to wacky. The medical industry not only uses 3D bones as teaching aids, but patients all over the world already benefit from 3D-printed implants and prosthetics. And bio-printing research aims to combine layers of living cells with a gel medium to build 3D organs and body parts using inkjet techniques. These techniques can save lives and greatly improve quality of life.

NASA 3D prints its rockets’ combustion chamber liners and four squadrons of the RAF’s Tornado GR4 aircraft are already flying with 3D printed components – an innovation that could save £1.2m in maintenance and service costs over the next four years.

Of course, there are numerous applications in manufacturing where rapid manufacturing – such as our Funky3DFaces – enables personalised products to be produced and delivered quickly, while rapid prototyping shortens the time from product design to production – Nike uses 3D printers to create multi-coloured prototypes of its shoes.

At the wackier end of the scale, if you’re pregnant and you’ve had a 4D scan, you can now – at least theoretically – have a 3D custom print of your unborn baby.  Or maybe you’d like to print your own chocolate or cake decorations? Yes – 3D-printed food is now a thing, using sugar and cocoa butter to create sweet treats.

In the meantime, why not settle for the ultimate selfie? Funky3DFaces is at your service…

Cool dads deserve something special on Father’s Day

Sure, you could give him socks, aftershave, or something manly for his shed. But what cool dad wouldn’t want to open their Father’s Day present and find themselves framed, in full superhero mode and ready to hang on the wall? Luckily, you can make this happen for your superhero dad with our latest offer.

Looking good Superdad!

Looking good Superdad!

Is your dad a super Superman? A brooding Batman, a patriotic Captain America, a strong, dependable Ironman? OK – stop there, you get the picture. Seriously, you really can get the picture, but you need to work fast, especially if you’re outside the UK because we need images from you by May 23 (June 1 for UK customers) to personalise your superhero dad’s 3D head, give him the body of his dreams and immortalise him in a classic frame that will look amazing – forever.

Hang it in the hallway, the rumpus room, his study – or maybe it’ll look good in his office? You decide. But wherever it ends up, take a photo and post it to our Facebook page or video the moment when he opens up the present (we love those!). Full details of the offer are here.

Make it a Father’s Day he’ll never forget!

 

 

 

We did it! #bestdigitalstartup2016

OK, so we’re not going to make a huge fuss about this but… WE WON BEST DIGITAL  STARTUP AWARD!

Needless to say we are thrilled to be recognised for our innovation and all round fantasticness in the second Lincolnshire Digital Awards – and if you want to see the award – and us looking quite smart in our DJs and really, really pleased with ourselves – we’re here.

We didn’t get to make a speech on the night, but if we had, we’d have given our huge thanks to you for loving our personalised heads, supporting us with your custom,  telling all your friends about us, and posting your brilliant videos and images on Facebook, Twitter and the rest. Thank you – and we love you all!

 

It’s official! We’re finalists in the Lincolnshire Digital Awards!

We’re very excited to tell you that we’ve been shortlisted among this year’s finalists in the Best Digital Startup category in the Lincolnshire Digital Awards!  More than 90 nominations were received across the eight award categories, so we’re absolutely thrilled to bits to be a contender.

This is the second year of the Lincolnshire Digital Awards, organised by the Lincolnshire Business magazine to recognise innovative technology in the Greater Lincolnshire Area, and it’s shaping up to be bigger and better than the first in 2015. This year’s judging event will be held at The Engine Shed, on campus at the University of Lincoln, on Thursday, April 28 – in just one week’s time!

Described as the platform that rewards Lincolnshire’s best creative and innovative businesses for their hard work and contribution to Lincoln’s reputation for digital creativity, the award ceremony will feature an evening of digital entertainment – and we’re promised a never-before-seen stage show put together by local talents. There’s stiff competition in our category of course, so we’re crossing our fingers. Whatever happens on the night, we’re just so proud to be recognised and we want to thank you, our customers for all your support.

Wish us luck!

We just can’t get enough of your images!

Are you following us on Facebook? If you are you’ll be aware that we see loads of fantastic, quirky photos featuring mini-figs with our personalised 3D heads. Recently we’re seeing more romantic wedding cake toppers,  cheeky LEGO bank robbers being brought to justice by no-nonsense LEGO cops (thanks for the images Meghaan Lane!) and Han Solo looking armed and dangerous – and actually kinda cute as well (thanks for your image Sara Pierce).

We love seeing your brilliant images and crazy scenarios and, with Captain America and Iron Man squaring up to each other on screen soon, we’re sure there’ll be plenty more coming our way. If you don’t follow us on Facebook – you definitely should. Find us here and be among the first to see our offers and find out what we’re up to. Send us your images and videos and let’s share the mini-figure love!

 

 

 

Give your superhero dad a Father’s Day to remember

Socks? Aftershave? Cordless drill? Up and down the country, thousands of Dads will be hoping for something a little bit different for Father’s Day on June 19. And we think we have the perfect gift – a personalised superhero mini- figure of course!

We think Dads are everyday heroes – they pick us up when we fall, give us hugs when we’re sad, help us with our homework, drive us everywhere, show their sons how to be good men, and their daughters what a good man looks like. And they rescue us when our DIY goes horribly wrong.

Our heroes. They’re always there when we need them. So what could be nicer than showing your Dad that he’s your hero by putting his face on a hero mini-figure?

OK, this will need a bit of planning, but last orders for Father’s Day in the UK is June 1 – outside the UK it’s May 23 – so you have plenty of time to think up a convincing reason why you have to take the two specific photo images needed to make a personalised head. Maybe you’re ‘trying to perfect your photography skills’ and need a willing model?

Then, have fun choosing the brick mini-fig hero that best suits your Dad ready for the arrival of his custom head. Whatever his age, your Dad will be thrilled to know that he’s your hero!

Remember to post photos of your superhero Dad on our Facebook page!

It’s all about the image

At last! Our move to a larger space has finally been completed and we’re enjoying having more room to pack our deliveries and more room for the little guys to move around. And, with that slight distraction out of the way, we’ve been spending some time looking at how we can further improve our service to you.

The process we use to make the heads involves careful hand finishing, and that can’t be rushed because keeping to this high standard is as important to us as it is to you, but the team has found ways to streamline other parts of the process. This means that we’ve cut the time from acceptance of your order to delivery down to between two and four weeks. We feel great about this, and we know you’ll appreciate it too.

However, we do still receive quite a few orders with images that simply won’t work with the conversion software, and when this happens it does inevitably slow down the process. Often, it’s because no flash has been used and there are shadows on the image. This part is up to you, so to make things easier, we’ve put an explanatory video on the website that shows exactly how to take photos that we can convert to 3D images – and there are print guidelines too.

Remember – it’s important that images should be clear, well lit and without shadows. You will need to use a flash. Also, a selfie is really not going to hack it – plan the shot, the background and the lighting beforehand and use a self-timer if there’s no-one around to take the photo for you.

We want to deliver your personalised mini-fig head to you asap, so please give yourselves a ‘head’ start. (Sorry – couldn’t resist that one!)

Batman v Superman – be part of the superhero battle and win LEGO!

It’s finally here. This week we’ll know what destiny awaits for our two favourite superheroes in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And we are so excited!

Whether or not we love what Zack Snyder, the film’s director, puts on the big screen, we can each have our own personal version of the biggest superhero challenge for decades thanks to the latest Funky3DFaces offer!

As well as entering a parallel universe and pitting our two favourite superhero crime fighters just for the fun of it, you could also take part in our online superhero competition.

Just take up our special limited edition offer of two custom built 3D mini heads complete with free Batman and Superman figures and free shipping, and you can join battle in our social media competition! Just submit an epic fight scene photo, video or stop-motion animation featuring your figures and the best will win some truly epic LEGO prizes!

We want to see thrills, spills, shocks and surprises as the mighty heroes go head to head in their fight for justice. Make us gasp at your ingenuity and imagination!

We have only 250 sets available, so submit your order asap to make sure you don’t miss out! Let battle commence!