It's not what you'd usually pick up during your weekly shop - a mini version of yourself.

But Asda is offering customers the chance to be scanned and turned into a 3D-printed figurine, after beginning trials of the service at their York store in northern England.

Having your whole body scanned takes between 2-3 minutes, with a small handheld machine recording images at a speed of roughly 15 frames a second, making around a 1,000 per scan.

Asda's Head of Personalisation, Phil Stout, said the machine reads colour as well as geometry, which means it understands the contours of the body along with the colour of the clothes identified.

"The scanner's that sophisticated that it picks up details such as belt buckles, shoe detail wedding rings, and all the detail of the colour," he said.

"So the output to the printer, our printer does 6 million colours - recognises 6 million colours - and that allows us to print an amazing product, screaming 'quality' and at an affordable price," he said.

After the scan, the image is processed by a computer and then sent to be printed with coloured ceramic fluid, with each 8-inch figure taking around eight hours to produce - although the printer can create several at once.

Scanning slots were fully booked on the first trial days - with some customers travelling miles to get one.

But even with the short trial, Stout said its uses were already becoming clear.

"A gentleman came in, an older gentleman, came in earlier and his wife is in a care home, and he doesn't get to see his wife that often, so he wanted to do a scan to give to his wife as a present. I thought that was very touching," he said.

3D printing is increasingly used in the industrial arena, along with many companies offering printing services for replacement parts for household appliances. Some people with access to a 3D printer have even gone as far as to print a working gun.

But Britain's second-biggest retailer believes it's the first supermarket to offer this service on a large scale and relatively cheaply, at £40 per figure

However, shoppers hoping for an unusual Christmas gift might be disappointed, as Asda will roll out the service in the new year if it's a success.

Presented by Adam Justice