When Barry Rahme couldn’t find a replacement for his broken computer keyboard, he thought 3D printing a replica was the best bet.
Mr Rahme, 28, had spent 11 years working as a chef in his family’s pizza restaurant – but his imagination was now captured by the possibilities that technology could offer.
He got to work building a scanning rig in his Dharruk living room and two years later he’ll pitch his pet project – Mini Clones – on the Shark Tank.
The project offers customers the chance to take home their own personal mini-mes.
“I had a few other ideas but this was the first one where I thought, ‘Wow’,” he told the Star.
“I’m able to capture how a person looks – their clothes, their pose – instantly and make a miniature version of them.”
The first models Mr Rahme made were of himself, his family and friends.
He said after the initial humour wore off his loved ones were supportive of his goal to take Mini Clones to the market.
“At first they thought it was funny but then they realised the project’s potential.”
Mr Rahme has set up a workshop on Horwood Place in Parramatta, and said many intrigued customers have already walked in the door.
He believed the technology would also appeal to the gaming and film industries.
“It takes a fraction of a second to scan the person then once they’re happy with it we move on to the creation stage,” Mr Rahme said.
The process takes about a week to get from scanning to the final touches, he said.
“For a hand-made model to become realistic it takes hundreds of hours. This way it takes a fraction of that time,” Mr Rahme said.
“It’s a great way to capture a moment in time. Some customers have used them as wedding toppers or even a sort of 3D family photo.”
The episode in which Mr Rahme fronts the Shark Tank panel will air on Tuesday.
Although he couldn’t disclose if his pitch was successful, he said he was excited to see himself on TV.
“I can’t wait to see it.”
- Catch Barry’s pitch when Shark Tank season 3 premieres on Tuesday, June 20 at 8.30pm.