A HIGH-tech 3D printing gadget installed at a Trafford supermarket proved so popular with customers that the scheme is to be rolled out to 10 stores from this month.
Asda Trafford Park secured a world first when it unveiled the cutting edge printer – which can create a miniature ceramic model of objects, pets and humans – during a week-long trial in June and hopes to be one of the 10 stores which gets the printer full time.
And Asda's head of innovation and technology, Phil Stout, who helped Messenger reporter Kate Banks try out the 3D scanner, said that is a distinct possibility.
"Manchester has always been a technology centre and the trial has gone really well here, so I'm certainly hoping that Trafford Park will be chosen," said Phil.
He explained that four cameras take hundreds of photos within 12 seconds, capturing every detail and contour of s person's body.
"The reason for the 12 seconds is that the service can now be made available to a lot more people, particularly children who tend to fidget if they have to stand still too long," said Phil.
The scanner then creates a 8" full-colour, mini statuette, which costs £60 and can be collected from the store in around a fortnight.
Phil said the around 50 people came to try out the printer during the week trial and staff have been surprised at the range of people the technology appeals to.
"Everyone does it for different reasons – graduation, birthdays or other special occasions.
"we’ve had grandparents coming in scanning themselves to give to their grandchildren, couples, best friends, one guy in another store even came in wearing a full suit of armour."
Andrew Moore, Asda's chief merchandising officer, said: “Our customers are always looking for the next big innovation and we’re committed to making the newest and most exciting technology available to our customers.
“We were the first to bring affordable 3D printing to the market and customers were queuing round the block to try it out.
"Following an overwhelming positive initial reaction from shoppers, the obvious next step was to provide improved innovation that we hope will become a permanent fixture in our stores.
"The possibilities with 3D printing are endless and I’m pleased that we’re ahead of the game in making this truly transformational technology an everyday reality for our customers.”