WATCH: 3D Printer Reanimates the Dead in Guangzhou

By Ryan Gandolfo, April 8, 2019

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Guangzhou recently began providing a new service to help those mourning their loved ones: 3D-printed facial and body restoration.

The city’s funeral service center, along with a laboratory under China’s Civil Affairs Ministry, have joined forces to develop a 3D printing service for the deceased, according to Southern Metropolis Daily. For people who died under tragic circumstances such as a traffic accident or a fire, loved ones may opt to have the face or body of the deceased restored to its former condition before a funeral wake is held.

The 3D printer at the Guangzhou funeral home began operating the first week of April, coinciding with Qingming Festival, a national holiday used to pay homage to family members who have passed away.  

The whole process can be broken down to just a few steps. A digital model is formed based on photos of the deceased, with input from family members. Next, the printer gets to work, spending anywhere between 10 and 20 hours producing a facial mold, which is then handed to a trained staff member who applies the necessary makeup to the mold.

Watch below to see the process from nearly start to finish (VPN off):

In the past, this type of restoration work was done entirely by hand, a process which could take up to one month. Now, grieving families and friends can see a more lifelike version the body in just 10 days, the deputy head of Guangzhou’s funeral service center, Li Zhijian, told China Daily in a recent interview. According to the funeral service center, well under 1 percent of bodies need facial restoration, with just about 30 out of 35,000 dead bodies needing the special procedure in a given year. 

In late March, a funeral home in Jinan, Shandong province also began using 3D printing to restore the face and body of people who had died in an accident or a fire.

As for the price of Guangzhou’s 3D printing facial restoration service, rates vary depending upon the level of damage sustained by the deceased. Arguably the most important thing to come of this new and improved method for facial restoration is the help it can provide in consoling mourners. 

READ MORE: 3D Printer Used to Make Electrical Room in Guangzhou 

[Cover image via @中国新闻网/Weibo]

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