Aug 11, 2017 | By David
Over the last few years, we’ve seen 3D printing have an increasingly large impact on the creation of ceramic objects. The technology enables designers to really let their imaginations run wild, with all kinds of complex and elaborate shapes possible to mass produce at a relatively low cost, which is revolutionizing the worlds of jewellery design, pottery, and more besides. A Spanish company called Narbon has recently taken advantage of this flexibility of 3D printing to steer ceramics in quite a morbid direction, with its 3D Memories service. This allows customers to purchase ceramic objects that are 3D printed using the ashes of their deceased loved ones.
Narbon offers a whole range of products to allow the bereaved to remember people they have lost, including a curated photo album and a commemorative website. The 3D Memories service is one of their more recent offerings, and it provides a direct, tangible link between the deceased and their friends or family. After cremation, the dead person’s ashes are sent to the company so they can use some of them, in combination with porcelain and other high-quality enamel products, as the material from which to 3D print a one-of-a-kind gift.
Transforming part of the physical body of the departed into a beautiful permanent memorial to them, the company then forwards the 3D printed item on to the funeral home within 7 to 10 days. Narbon tries to incorporate as much of the remains as possible in the final product, but this will vary depending on the size of the 3D printed object. Any unused material will be returned, and the treatment of the ashes is certified and traceable for the bereaved, ensuring that they are treated with respect.
The resulting 3D printed objects can be anything from pendants to earrings, vases to busts, and more besides. The jewellery pieces are available in a range of 5 different unique finishes- Blue Caprice, Sea Breeze, Essence of Poppy, Red Sea, and Pink Light. Narbon intends for each funeral home to have its own catalog of these objects, from which grieving loved ones can choose their memento, or they can even have their own unique custom-made item 3D printed.
Included in the 3D printed memento is a QR code, which will link up to Narbon’s own social network, surecuerdo.com. This is designed to allow relatives and friends to have a unique, private virtual space to commemorate the deceased, where they can upload photos, videos, or messages of condolence.
Narbon commercial director José María Robisco describes the 3D Memories service as ‘memories made matter’. His company has pioneered the introduction of innovative products and new technology in the funeral sector, and the use of human remains as a material is certainly a first for the world of 3D printing. Robisco insists on the solemn nature of the process, however, saying that Narbon sells ‘‘an emotional experience, not a technology”. People coping with the absence of their friend, relative or lover could well gain some solace from knowing they carry a part of them still with them, and it’s great to see 3D printing technology used in this way to reinforce this important emotional bond.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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