3D selfie

If you're already over Berlin's plethora of Photoautomats, make your way to Dimension Alley for the newest way to flaunt your face, or rather your entire figure. In addition to 3D-printed-you, the cafe offers workshops for novices and the tech-savvy.

Image for 3D selfie
Photo by Michal Andrysiak

There’s an odd moment – somewhere between doing a 360 degree full-body swivel whilst being scanned from head to toe, and when you witness a miniature version of yourself being squirted out by a printer – where you think, “Jesus, is my posture really that bad?” If such revelations hold no fear for you, then we’ve got a café that’s right up your alley… Dimension Alley, that is.

The future of the selfie is here, nestled unassumingly in Prenzlauer Berg, and predictably enough it’s 3D. Offering a variety of digital fabrication workshops that cater to children (upon request) and adult novices (€40), the world’s third “fab café” goes to great lengths to walk you through the potentially infinite applications of 3D printing: organic tissue, aeronautical engine parts, even entire buildings. Then, they give you the opportunity to design… a keychain. Yet the more techni- cally savvy can rock up with preconceived designs and bring them to life with the help of the outfit’s affable owners, examples of which can be seen around the workshop: the aforementioned mini-me (from €25), miniaturised landscapes, a Mars Rover and models of actual bone scans, to name but a few. Height and width were good while they lasted, but modern Berliners need something more: they need depth, and that’s exactly what this techno-caff is serving up, in viscous thermoplastic form. 

Originally published in issue #130, September 2014.