When the company that helped invent 3D printing asks you if you want to be turned into a Star Trekstatue, the only right answer is: "how soon?" Naturally, we immediately shot off a couple of selfies (front-facing and profile) and ticked off a couple of personal details: I wanted a phaser, naturally, and poor Tim got stuck in a red shirt, to help bring out the natural Riker in that beard of his. Sadly, we only had the option of the Original Series, in the lead up to launch, so you've got to use your imagination. As for the inscription on the base, Engadget Show producer Benjamin (who you can see after the break) asked for "Peace and Long Life," in keeping with his pointy-eared Vulcan theme, and I went with "May the Force Be With You," because, let's face it, I was always more of a Star Wars guy anyway. Tim wanted the simple, but expressive "Khaaaaaaan!" but sadly didn't make it in under the wire, so he'll have to get creative with a Sharpie.
Once you send in two photos, fill out the specifics and pay the (admittedly somewhat steep) $70, someone at one of 3D Systems' fulfillment center will convert your image into a 3D model, import it into the company's software and then print it out using the Projet 660pro. It's a rebrand of the high-end device we saw at work at Laika's Portland studios, printing out faces for the then-forthcoming stop-motion feature ParaNorman. The printer is capable of rendering objects in impressively high resolution, far more than you've been seeing on those consumer printers you've heard so much about.