3D Printed Pets Help Us Remember Our Favorite Furry (and Scaly) Companions

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In Stephen King’s Pet Sematary (a 1983 book, 1989 film), a man first buries a beloved cat in a local cemetery in the hopes that rumors are true: the pet will be brought back to life. Things get out of control when his son suddenly dies, and he too winds up buried in the notorious cemetery of reincarnation, only to be reborn as something altogether different: horrifying, in fact. A meditation on the human condition of grief (and its denial), the storyStephen King's Pet Sematary (1985) serves as a warning to those who find it difficult to let go. Thankfully, with remarkable advances in 3D printing and scanning, more people will be less likely to head for the local pet cemetery and more likely to use old photos to recreate their pets’ quirks and idiosyncrasies — then have them 3D printed for posterity’s sake.

A recent Huffington Post article features an interview with the UK’s Arty Lobster’s Managing Director, Lars Andersen. Arty Lobster is a company focusing on lifelike 3D printed pet sculptures.

Andersen’s company is seeing a high demand for 3D printed pet memorabilia, he explains to Marie Carter, editor of Pets Magazine:

“In my own business, the business of using 3D printing to create a pet sculpture either to remember a deceased pet or to create a unique gift for a pet owner, there are numerous exciting possibilities. With increasing numbers of households considering their pet as one of the family, demand for a wide choice of quality products, including bespoke pet memorials, has never been higher. Pet memorials represent a significant part of our customer base.”

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In fact the anticipated demand is so high for these services that Andersen was able to recruit Dimitris Fotiou —  a 3D print artist from Athens, Greece who worked at the Museum of Paleontology until he found his new job with Arty Lobster.

pet3In the UK alone, almost half of 13 million households have a pet. If you’ve ever lost a beloved animal companion, you already know there is a strong urge to remember them in a way unique to their own one of a kind personalities. Receiving their ashes in an urn pales by comparison to having a lifelike three-dimensional object on your desktop that you can look at each day.

Arty Lobster works to make these lifelike sculptures using about ten photos of your pet, a CAD modeling program, and a team of designers to flesh out the final product. The process of printing results in high-quality prints that are making Arty Lobster customers quite thrilled with the finished product. In fact, last July 5th was the first ever National Pet Remembrance Day in the UK, which had Pets Magazine teaming up with Arty Lobster. This event alone has increased orders for pet figurines on a weekly basis since the event.

Arty Lobster also plans to expand its offerings to different materials eventually and hopes to be able to replace the traditional pet cemetery headstone with an up-scaled and 3D printed object instead.

This is great news since Stephen King made those pet cemetery headstones kind of creepy anyway. Yes, we could use a different way to hold onto our animal companions long after they are gone… besides taking our chances in a cemetery like King’s.

Do you have a pet you’d like to get 3D printed?  Are you considering this service?  Let us know in the Arty Lobster forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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