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China: Around The Nation

Beijing funeral home uses 3D printing to reconstruct damaged faces

Technology allows quicker, more accurate restoration of disfigured features

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 5:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 March, 2017, 5:13pm

A funeral home in Beijing has introduced three dimensional printing to cover any facial or head damage of the deceased.

The Babaoshan Funeral Home has resorted to 3D printing to reconstruct disfigured facial features or skulls of any deceased who suffered severe damage in accidents, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Family members only need provide a headshot of the deceased, the report said.

The technology makes it relatively easy for the funeral home to produce facial masks of the deceased. In the past, funeral directors or embalmers had to reconstruct damaged faces by hand using plasticine, plaster, wax or clay, which could take up to seven days to complete, a manager said.

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With the 3D printing, it only takes 10 hours to produce a face mask, while partial repairs only take three hours, the report said.

The technology also enhances the accuracy of the restoration work. In the past, family members sometimes complained that the reconstructed face did not look like the deceased. With 3D printing, the facial mask looks much more similar, the manager said.