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Chinese morticians restore bodies with 3D printing

By
Marilyn Malara
A Chinese funeral home is using 3D printing technology to repair damages to bodies for a better appearance. Photo by Photographee.eu/Shutterstock
A Chinese funeral home is using 3D printing technology to repair damages to bodies for a better appearance. Photo by Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

SHANGHAI, April 2 (UPI) -- The dead aren't above receiving a facelift, according to a Chinese funeral home using 3D printing technology to restore and reconstruct the bodies of its clients.

Longhua, a Shanghai-based funeral home, is reportedly taking advantage of 3D printing advances to restore bodies damaged in accidents, natural disasters or fires. The results can make the bodies appear younger and more attractive posthumously, the funeral home said.

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"It is difficult for relatives to see incomplete faces or bodies of their loved ones when they attend memorial services, and makeup cannot always sufficiently repair them," said Shanghai Funeral and Interment Service Center official Liu Fengming to Shanghai Daily.

The Longhua facility is reportedly the first of its kind in China and is capable of making its repairs look more natural, despite slight disparities, according to CRI English.

The technology can restore the appearance of disfigured bodies and faces to about 95 percent correctness, a close copy. Printing was used on the faces of firefighters last year who died from an explosion in Tianjin, Shanghai Daily noted.

A 3D printing procedure on a body in preparation for a funeral costs a hefty price, however, with some services costing between 4000 and 5000 yuan, or $620 and $775 dollars.

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The 3D printing process uses specially engineered machines connected to a computer to fuse layers of materials to develop three-dimensional objects. The printers have made a vast variety of objects from medical tools and implants to guns, cups, clocks and even cars.

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