3D printing has certainly taken off in the past couple of months as we’ve seen it produce some amazing products such as designer eyewear, a bionic ear and even a kidney. But this latest feat of 3D printing is both amazing and creepy at the same time as an artist has used DNA to print 3D portraits of people.
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborb retrieves the DNA from her subjects by stumbling onto them during her travels through a number of ways such as picking up a dropped piece of gum or discarded cigarette butt, which is then analyzed and has its DNA mined to retrieve information such as the gender, ethnicity, and eye color of the person. The DNA is then fed into a custom computer program that translates the information into a 3D model of the person’s face.
The result of the 3D printed disembodied faces isn’t an exact replica of the person, but instead, is described by Dewey-Hagborg as being more of a “family resemblance” of the actual person. Either way, we’ll be mindful of what DNA we leave out in public as we would rather not become the subject of this kind of project.