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Chinese funeral parlor repairs the dead via 3D printing

social media accounts after death white coffin funeral
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Make sure to take notes everyone, since you naturally want to look your best at your funeral. In China, which lacks much basic infrastructure, serious accidents are prone to happen. Consider the Tianjin Port explosion from August last year, or the collapse of huge volumes of man-made construction waste in Shenzhen, which killed nearly 60 people. These accidents cause massive damage to the surrounding area, and anyone caught in one of them could have limbs severed and bones crushed. It’s not pretty, and it shows at the funeral.

China Radio International reports that this is why Longhua Funeral Parlor has decided to use 3D printing to repair damaged bodies before they’re put on display in front of the deceased’s family members and friends.

Those who can afford it will be able to repair damaged bodies by 3D printing replacement parts. The Longhua Funeral Parlor uses the technology to layer material in a manner that creates a three-dimensional representation of the damaged body part. The report says the parlor also does hair implants and adds makeup to ensure the level of resemblance exceeds 95 percent, according to the outlet.

While this may all sound comforting to those who attend the funeral, the director of Shanghai’s funeral services center, Liu Fengming, pointed out that the technology can also be used to make corpses appear younger or better looking. Cozy. It thus seems the funeral services in China may move on to engage in corpsemetic surgery.

But mending damaged bodies is nothing new in China. Its funeral homes have traditionally reconstructed damaged or disfigured bodies with sludge or wax. These methods recreate the structure of corpses’ faces, but not the unique texture of their skin and hair, according to Liu. With the new method, a partial repair is reported to cost less than 10,000 yuan ( $1,542).

This 3D-printing venture is one example of how Shanghai is implementing China’s Five-Year Plan to push for more innovation in science and technology. The plan was approved October 2015 and in February of that same year the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology also announced a plan to expand China’s 3D-printing industry.

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