Reporter VICTORIA PREST checked out the new 3D printing service being tested at Asda in York.

A HIGH-TECH 3D imaging gadget installed at a York superstore for a three-day trial this week has drawn intrigued customers from across the country.

Asda has launched a trial of a 3D printing technology which can be used to create detailed “mini me” models at its Monks Cross store.

It is the first time the technology, which was developed for industrial designers to create detailed prototypes, has been available for the general public.

The company’s managers said they had been overwhelmed by the amount of interest from customers. Phil Stout, Asda’s head of photos and personalisation, said the response had been amazing.

“We have had customers drive all the way up from London, Chester and Norwich for this, and the appointments for Wednesday and Thursday are filling up fast.

“We have had lots of feedback saying they would make great presents for grandparents who don’t see their grandchildren very often, and we even had someone say they would make a great chess set.

“We had one older gentleman come in because his wife lives in a care home, and he doesn’t get to see her very often. He had himself scanned so he can leave the model with his wife.”

Dozens of curious shoppers stopped by to see what was going on at the 3D scanning stall, near the supermarket entrance.

The technology takes two minutes to scan people in three different ways to pick up the body’s shape, colour and contours, before the mini model is “printed” in ceramic.

The models are printed in colour, but can be produced in white to look like a Greek statue or in bronze.

York has been chosen for the three-day trial as the supermarket’s “innovation store”, and is also home to the first 3D check-out scanner and has pioneered a drive-through service.

Shoppers gave their views...

Richard Bradford, 51, a handyman, from York, said: “The technology is impressive stuff, but I am not sure if I would want one myself.”

Dave Benson, 31, a charity worker from York, said: “Who would want a tiny model of themselves? I don’t think I would pay for it.”

Ruby Williams, 20, a carer from Pickering, said: “It’s different, isn’t it? I’ve never heard of it before, but it would make a great present for someone.”

Chris Thompson, 59, a payroll administrator from Haxby, said: “It’s different, it’s very creative. You could get a little version of the kids.”