Fort Worth

3D figurines, pet portraits popular with shoppers at Stock Show

Shrink 3D is a new exhibitor where patrons can turn themselves into an action figure at the Stock Show in Fort Worth.
Shrink 3D is a new exhibitor where patrons can turn themselves into an action figure at the Stock Show in Fort Worth. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

A shot at immortality is awaiting you and your pet in the main exhibits hall at the Stock Show.

Two new booths in the vendors area of the Amon G. Carter Exhibits Hall — one employing a very high-tech approach, and the other based in the most traditional of methods — are offering to create a lasting image of you or your pet.

Shrink3D is in the business of turning you into a tiny statue or action figure.

“We have a 3D scanner,” explains company’s founder and Dallas native, 23-year-old Shahrukh Lalani, while pointing to a white, tent-like structure adjoining his booth. “You step into it, and in three seconds, we take 174 pictures. On the back end, we will convert all those pictures to a 3D model. And then once we get a 3D model, we send it to a 3D printer and print it out. It comes out in full color.”

The end product is a 3 to 9 inch-tall figurine (depending on the price paid) made of lightweight sandstone. The samples Lalani displays show a wide range of choices by his customers: a couple recreating the husband’s marriage proposal on bended knee, a cheerleader with pompoms held high and a little girl playing with a dog.

In addition to the full-size figurine, he has another, less expensive option that involves cutting your head off.

“We can do just the head of a person that can then be fitted onto any Lego mini figurine,” says Lalani, who started this company just last May. “They have been really popular so far.”

While taking the pictures is extremely fast, customers have a wait a bit for the final product because of the limited availability of 3D printers.

“A printer can do maybe 20 a day,” says Lalani, who makes some the figurines in-house, while others have to be farmed out to other printers. “So it usually takes about four to six weeks to get the statue.”

If you couldn't make it downtown, here are the sights and sounds of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo Parade.

Picture-perfect dogs

At the other end of the technological spectrum is Must Draw Dogs, where you can text owner Jeff Amano a picture of your pet and have him work up a painting.

“I draw it by hand, old-school style. These are my digital scanners,” says Amano, wiggling his fingers.

Amano uses permanent watercolor markers to turn your pet into a work of art on squares of painted wood, burlap bags or T-shirts. And he does it quickly.

“It usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes,” says Amano, who did commercial art and comic book and magazine covers before settling into this current product.

“This is my wife’s thing,” says Amano, referring to Claire Amano, who developed a business of designing and selling signs with slogans and homilies, and art works made from vintage and repurposed goods. “And I would help her by embellishing, doing lettering and things like that.”

Then last year, Amano did a painting of his daughter’s dog that he hung in the couple’s store in Denton (which they have since closed in favor of going to events like the Stock Show).

“A couple of women came in and saw the picture and wanted to know if I could paint their dogs,” says Jeff Amano.

And that led to this game-changing exchange:

“Do we do dogs?” Jeff asked Claire.

“Does somebody want to buy ’em?” replied Claire.

“Yes.”

“Then we do dogs.”

Now, the drawings have become the primary focus of the business.

And while Jeff has not done any broncs or bucking bulls, he has painted a surprising range of pets.

“I would say it has been about 98 percent dogs. But I have also done cats, cows, hogs, roosters, lots of birds, a sugar glider [a small possum] and even an iguana,” Amano said.

The stock Show’s pigeon breeders explain why the birds are so amazing.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments