We live in an interesting, amazing age of technological advancements  – technology like 3D printing can help us survive nearly insurmountable odds, and it can also help families grieve the loss of loved ones. The use of 3D printing technology in the death care industry is becoming more popular, with people, pets, and even celebrities being laid to rest in 3D printed urns.

Narbon, a funeral company headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is offering a new service to people in mourning, called 3D Memories.

José María Robisco, Narbon’s commercial director, said of the service, “We sell an emotional experience, not a technology.”

[Image: Elmundo Innovators/INNOVADORES]

Narbon will combine a small portion of your loved one’s ashes with material compounds like wood, plastic, metal, porcelain, or ceramic, which is the most popular choice, and 3D print a unique object with the mixture. While the company also offers 3D printed vases and busts, it specializes in jewelry, offering both circular and heart-shaped pendants that can be added to bracelets, necklaces, and rings.

While we’ve seen a similar process in China, Narbon has patented this mixing of funeral remains with a base material.

[Image: Narbon via Twitter]

The company is also able to make custom designs for customers. Gravity is the only limitation Narbon has to contend with, and Robisco explained that cylindrical shapes are the best, because pottery won’t make it through the 3D printing process if the object’s overhangs or angles are too pronounced.

Each unique piece is covered in different kinds of high-quality enamel, which protects both the design and the memory of your loved one.

Additionally, the 3D printed jewelry is offered in five finishes: Blue Caprice, Essence of Poppy, Pink Light, Red Sea, and Sea Breeze. Narbon is in charge of the entire process, starting from receiving a request by phone or in the mail. Funeral homes will receive a request kit to put the ashes in, and Narbon personally collects the kits. The company never uses all of a person’s ashes – just a proportional amount, which can vary depending on the size of the 3D printed object.

“We certify the traceability throughout the treatment of the ashes, ensuring the maximum respect in each stage of the process. Just like a crematorium,” explained Robisco.

“We guarantee that nothing is lost. What may seem like ashes, to somebody, they are an important person.”

Narbon works hard to make sure that all of the received ashes are used in the ceramic mass, and if the kit includes more ashes than necessary, the company returns the rest to the deceased person’s relatives.

The one-of-a-kind objects are printed on what appears to be a modified Delta printer, and then Narbon technicians apply the chosen finish to the piece.

The whole process, from receiving the kit to the 3D printing and finishing process and sending the completed object back to the funeral home, only takes 7-10 days.

Each 3D printed object also includes a QR code, with connects with a type of social network, Su Recuerdo, that was also created by Narbon. Friends and relatives can upload pictures and videos of the deceased person, or just write a condolence note.

To see a video of the 3D printing process, visit the Narbon 3D Memories page.

Would you consider getting a 3D Memories piece of jewelry? Let us know in the Narbon 3D Printed Jewelry forum thread at 3DPB.com.

[Sources: Narbon, Elmundo Innovators]
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