Starting Life’s Next Chapter… with Scan-A-Rama 3D!

I would like to publicly announce that I have left my position as the Executive Creative Director at New York’s interactive design studio Funny Garbage to start life’s next adventure. I plan pursue a new career involving 3D printing, teaching and writing, and am actively seeking new opportunities. This summer I will be focusing on building my new company Scan-A-Rama 3D- the portrait studio of the future. I will continue to teach in the Spring at the School of Visual Arts MFA Design Department.

Funny Garbage

Goodbye Funny Garbage!

My last 17 years with Funny Garbage has been an amazing journey working with the greatest team of designers, developers, producers I have ever known. We created groundbreaking projects in collaboration with some of the greatest clients ever. It has truly been an honor and privilege to work together. Since 1997, Funny Garbage has been a wonderful home and family to me, but it was time to move on. I leave behind a highly capable and motivated team and I wish them all well. Seventeen years ago I was fresh out of grad school at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program with two infants and a grand total of $60 left in my bank account. My friend Peter Girardi – a graphic designer and former graffiti artist that I had worked with at The Voyager Company, had just founded a new graphic design startup named Funny Garbage with John Carlin– a lawyer who also ran the Red Hot Organization– a nonprofit that raises money for AIDS charities through a series of themed music releases. Inspired by the Residents’ Freak Show CD ROM, I had left my career as a sword swallower in Coney Island, and gone to grad school to become an digital artist in this new age of interactivity. Just as I joined FG, this new “thing” the World Wide Web began transforming the world around us. We got in on the ground floor to create groundbreaking work in interactive entertainment with some of the best brands and clients in the world. The hallmark of Funny Garbage’s work over the last (almost) two decades has been collaborations with great clients to create well designed and playful interactive experiences with personality. The numerous awards our work has won, from Emmys to Webbys is testament to our successes.

The world of apps has literally brought me back full circle to where I began in the era of CD ROM so it feels like a fitting time for a change. In the aftermath of last year’s Coney Island Scan-A-Rama Kickstarter, my fascination and love for 3D printing has beckoned for full time attention. Both my children are now off to college. Its time for a major life metamorphosis. There are numerous opportunities for personal growth with 3D scanning and printing, so I am taking a giant leap of faith that the universe will take care of me. So here goes with my next venture- Scan-A-Rama 3D!


The Scan-O-Tron 3000: Bringing the World a New Form of Portraiture!

Coney Island Scan-A-Rama is close to hitting 50% of of our funding goal, but we have only 10 days left! We really need YOUR help to get the word out to make out Kickstarter campaign successful!

Some new mentions this week:

With less than two weeks left we really need all the link love we can get, so anyone who has media connections please help get the word out! Secondly, anyone with any connections to event planners or fundraisers who might be interesting in offering 3D portraits at their event or gala, please send them our way- we need one or two high end supporters!

Now with no further ado, I wanted to address the open hardware aspect of the project. Its not the highest production value video I’ve ever made, but here’s a video that goes into the Scan-O-Tron 3000, the hardware 3D Scanning rig that I’ve been developing (which will be released on Thingiverse at the end of the campaign). This video is a little more technical- for the geeks out there- and is about the operation of the equipment, as opposed to my earlier post which was more about the experience of being scanned. For backers $20 and up I will also be releasing a video of my file cleanup routine in Netfabb Basic to you as a sneak preview before it’s available to the rest of the world. Enjoy!

Makers, you can already check out my Lazy susan design for full body scanning here: , and download loads of sample 3D full body scans off my Scan-A-Rama collection here:

Have a great weekend and please help make this happen!

Coney Island Scan-A-Rama Launched on Kickstarter!

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Fred Kahl

Artist to 3D Print Turn of the Century Coney Island… With YOU in It!

Brooklyn, NY. July 8, 2013 – Getting your portrait made at an amusement park has entered the 21st century with Coney Island Scan-A-Rama, the world’s first affordable 3D portrait studio. With the miracle of 3D scanning and printing, you can now get scanned and have your very own 3D Mini Me. The project is the latest brainchild of Coney Island sideshow veteran, Brooklyn based artist and impresario Fred Kahl, a.k.a. the Great Fredini. Kahl’s goal is to design and 3D print a replica of Coney Island’s famed Luna Park, as it stood a hundred years ago, and populate it with portraits from the studio.

“Coney Island has always been the place where cutting edge technology is presented as entertainment. Inventions like the elevator, electric light bulb, hot dogs and the rollercoaster found their first audiences here,” says Kahl. “I wanted to update the art of amusement park portraiture for the 21st century. In the past you would have had a caricature drawn, silhouette cut or a photo taken. Well, that technology has barely changed in 100 years… Until now!”

A graduate of New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, Kahl is the Creative Director of Interactivity and Gaming at powerhouse New York design studio Funny Garbage. Over the last few years, Kahl has been obsessed with 3D printing. He has created his own custom hardware and a workflow for creating perfect full body 3D scans using an Xbox Kinect game controller to capture the 3D image of his subjects. He is now ready to bring that technology to the public and is mounting a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $15,000 he needs to build a “bot farm” in support of his new venture.

The project is the latest in non-profit art center Coney Island USA’s Artist Incubator program. The Scan-A-Rama portrait studio will culminate with a 2014 exhibition of portraits in the miniature reconstruction of 2014 Luna Park. “Fred Kahl is a legend of sorts, with a legacy of bringing mind blowing and innovative projects to Coney Island, from Burlesque at the Beach to America’s Favorite Burlesque Gameshow – This or That!,” said Dick Zigun, the “Mayor” of Coney Island and the founder of Coney Island USA. “His latest undertaking will immortalize the actual fabric of our beloved Coney Island, and I urge everyone to support this fantastic project.”

For more information or to back the project on Kickstarter, visit:

About Coney Island USA: Coney Island USA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation based in the amusement park area of the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In existence since 1980, Coney Island USA has developed and produces a number of different programs including some of New York City’s best-loved summer programming, such as the Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, the Coney Island Museum, Burlesque at the Beach and the Coney Island Film Festival.

Get your own personalized 3D Portrait!

Get your own personalized 3D Portrait!