The 3DCanada Project

Customers watch the 3D printers in Quebec City

Since the spring of 2015, I’ve been working on the 3DCanada project with Canadian author & artist, Douglas Coupland and the Quebec based store, Simons. It’s shaping up to be one of the largest 3d scanning and printing related art projects.

Douglas scans Peter Simons, CEO of Simons

Douglas Coupland scans Peter Simons, CEO of Simons

The project started this past weekend (July 2015) in Quebec City at the Simons location in the old city. The premise of the project is that at six stores across the country (tied into Simons’ Canadian expansion out west) over the next couple of years, we’ll visit each location and 3D scan customers in the store. We’re using Structure Scanners from Occipital which I wrote about previously.

3D Canada

Then, using an array of 13 Tinkerine DittoPro 3D printers (aka the printer farm) on display in the store, we’ll be 3D printing the scans of the customers which they will get to keep.

3DCanada @ Park Royal

Once all the stores have been visited, Douglas will incorporate all the scanned data of the people from across Canada that we’ve scanned and we’ll build them into a large scale art piece that will tour the stores and ultimately be permanently installed in the Toronto location.

3D Canada

I’m currently in Montreal preparing for this weekend when we’ll start scanning customers on Saturday at the store on Sainte-Catherine Ouest. If you’re in the area, come by the store between 11am and 5pm to meet Douglas, get a free 3D scan, a 3D print (to be picked up later that week) and even an exclusive free t-shirt. They will be numerous 3D printing displays in the store so it’s also a great chance to see a 3D printer in action.

3D Canada

I’ll update this post with our progress as we tour the country. Follow along with our hashtag, #3DCanada on your favorite social network.

Update #1 Quebec City (July 2015)
Sophie at Simons captured this amazing video of the project in Quebec City:

CBC Radio did a great interview with Douglas about the project and have a number of photos posted on their Facebook page.

Update #2 Montreal (July 2015)
Some photos from our event in Montreal where we scanned 165 people!

We also had some great media coverage by the Montreal Gazette and Global Montreal.

Update #3: Edmonton – West Edmonton Mall (August 2015)
We had a fantastic turnout in Edmonton. I set up a timelapse camera to capture the line outside the store:

and the ‘hot seat’ in the scanning booth where we scanned over 100 people over 6 hours:

At the West Edmonton Mall location, we had enough room and power to move our production 3D printers from the back room to the store floor so on Sunday, we had 6 printing just inside the store entrance and 6 in the main store window.

3DCanada Edmonton

3DCanada Edmonton

Update #4: West Vancouver – Park Royal Mall (November 2015)
3DCanada @ Park Royal

We had an amazing turnout at Park Royal. Since it was Douglas’ home town (mine too), we ended up doing two days of scanning (three counting the media day) and two very full days of printing. One thing we really noticed is that when we started the project last summer, everyone was wearing shorts and t-shirts in Quebec. Now in the fall/winter, everyone was wearing more layers, hats, scarves, etc. and it really added some nice contrast to the scans we were doing.

Update #5 – Mississauga – Square One (April 2016):
Once again, we had a fantastic turnout of people to get scanned and printed. We’ve started exploring more options when we scan people and encouraged everyone to keep their jackets, hats and scarves on while they were scanned to add more textures. Hats are trickier to print (and scan) but we usually did a scan with and without the hat (you get both prints!).

Update #6: Ottawa – Rideau Centre (October 2016)
We had a phenomenal turnout in Ottawa! After a great media day on Friday, people were lined up before the store even opened on Saturday. CTV Ottawa did a fun segment with both their hosts coming down to participate. Watch the segment here (scroll ahead to the :43 minute mark). Also read the interview the National Post did with Douglas.


A special event happened prior to the media event where I had the opportunity to spend some time with Mike Myers and scan him for the project. He was on a book tour for his book about Canada (called Canada) and thanks to great timing on my part, I got to meet up with him. He seemed to be very interested our the project.

Ottawa #3DCanada

Mike Myers

Mike Myers

It was a pretty fun afternoon to say the least! Here’s some photos of our setup in store and some of the great scans we printed. So much great hair in Ottawa!

I also grabbed a group 360 photo just before we opened the line up to the public:


Next up: We visited Calgary, Yellowknife and Halifax in April. I’ll be posting about that trip very soon!

3DCanada in Montreal

One Comment

  1. philnelson says:

    That 3D sensor looks familiar…

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