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Gulliver's Gate: A 3D-printed world of tiny landmarks sprouts in NYC

Visitors to Gulliver's Gate can see mini versions of global landmarks, and even sign up to have their full body scanned, printed and put in the exhibit.

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Sarah Tew
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Stonehenge is just one of the many world wonders you can spot in the miniature exhibit of Gulliver's Gate, a permanent attraction landing in Times Square. More than 50 nations are represented in a venue the size of a football field.

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With the exhibit being located in Times Square, it's only fitting that guests begin their journey with a miniature version of the tourist hub. But not everything is an exact replica -- artists take creative liberties with space and time in the model world.

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Several computer systems bring life to Gulliver's Gate, including interactive models, self-driving cars, trains and even an airport. Keeping track of all the systems is this control center. It's open to encourage guests to talk to the technicians.

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With only a few weeks before the grand opening on May 9, model makers are focused on finsihing the crown jewel of the attraction: a working airport.

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Below the models lies a secret world of circuitry and computers that runs the self-driving cars, trains, sound and light systems.

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Each model region was created by model makers from that area. The New York model was made in Brooklyn by 16 people, and took nearly a year to create.

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The attraction also incorporates a full-body scanner with 128 Cannon DSLR cameras, so visitors can create a 3D printed model of themselves. Take one home as a souvenir or leave one behind to become a "model citizen" of the mini world.

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Guests can order a 3D print of themselves in multiple sizes. The cost of joining the exhibit with a tiny you is $44 (or roughly £34 or $AU58). Better hope you're wearing something easy to spot in a crowd.

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The model world has scenes representing 50 nations, featuring 1,000 trains, 10,000 cars and 100,000 mini people.

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Self-driving cars zip through the roads of some areas. Wirelessly charged through the road, the cars use infrared sensors to communicate their location, with a computer making sure none get into a crash.

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In every inch, artists find a way to tell a story with interesting scenes -- some more action-packed than others.

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In some cases, models have multiple layers, like this one of Grand Central. Below the main floor is the subway platform.

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The detail is impressive, but it's not the only exhibit of its kind. The inspiration behind Gulliver's Gate comes from Germany's Miniatur Wunderland, a similar miniature attraction that sees 1 million visitors a year.

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