Chinese funeral home can restore corpses with 3D printing

A new service to repair the damaged or disfigured deceased...

Chinese funeral home can restore corpses with 3D printing

Actress Jenny Agutter holds a miniature version of herself created using 3D printing. Picture by: Jonathan Brady / PA Archive/Press Association Images

A Shanghai funeral home is now offering to 3D print body parts in cases where a corpse is damaged or disfigured.

The Longhua Funeral Parlour can restore damaged faces to a similarity of at least 95% through a process involving 3D printing, hair implants and makeup, according to reports from the state-owned China Radio International on Thursday.

Such a procedure would cost from 4000 to 5000 yuan (€543 to €679).

With many people in China losing their lives in industrial and traffic accidents, as well as natural disasters, it is a service that seems destined to only become more popular.

Liu Fengming, director of Shanghai’s funeral services centre, told Shanghai Daily:

"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".

Liu added that the technology could also make the recently deceased look younger or better looking.

In February, US researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine reported that they had kept a 3D-printed, baby-sized ear alive on a mouse for two months.

The formation of blood vessels and cartilage tissue were seen as evidence that it had successfully integrated with the animal's body.

Researchers have previously printed human tissue, but it has had a tendency to die quickly up until now.