Aug.6, 2012

Do your family members get bored and fall asleep when you try to tell them a family story? Maybe you are fascinated by the artifacts that have been passed down through generations, but to some of them it can seem boring.

To make genealogy come alive to your family, it helps to show them some tangible evidence of his existence. Industrial designer Tanya Damm Bokobza came up with an idea. She is developing a web platform, that will use 3D modeling and 3D printing to make that part of memory much more real.

She shared an emotional story from a customer in his early 50s:

Dad passed away a long time ago.


I was busy with my own ambitions, my dreams, my loves. And dad disappeared with his ambitions, his dreams, his loves. I had no need for the things he left behind. None of the paintings he painted, none of the memoirs he wrote, nor the watch he wore. The memories I had from him were so sharp and clear and full of emotion that they were enough.


On my bookshelf I had a small bronze figurine. A schoolboy figure from "there" from the old country before dad came to "here".

That "school boy" figurine was given to him when he was 10. The figurine was missing an arm and its base was unstable.

A schoolboy's figure so alien and distant staring towards an unfamiliar distance. Years passed, memories of my dad became dull and his belongings scattered, some destroyed and most gone. And all I am left with is the schoolboy who stares into the realms of my father's childhood standing on bookshelves wherever I travel. I have been told that the schoolboy was cast in the image of my father so in a way it enables daily visits with him. It symbolizes the world that has disappeared, a world of people who didn't imagine and wouldn't understand our world today with our constant dependency on computers and cellular phones.

To help the customer a team of specialist designers made 3D scan the schoolboy's figure and used 3D modeling software to virtually recreat the figurine with a stronger base and "repaired" missing arm. They printed three additional figurines for him.

(images credit: myheritage)

And now, an even newer technology brought on an opportunity to restore and repair the missing arm, stabilize the rocking base… so now we have a few more schoolboys on the bookshelf who stare into the same distant childhood of places I never knew, and each one of them is "Dad". I gave the new contemporized figures to my children. I realize that just like me, it will mean very little to them …but maybe one day it will, when their memories of me will become dull.

The whole process could take days to weeks, depending how complex the work is and what kind of material can be used. They can recreate objects using polymers, metals and ceramics, but fabric items, teddy bears, quilts and the like are not yet available.

Tanya has been also contacted by others with a variety of requests:

One couple spent their first date watching a movie. As their relationship developed, that movie became very special and they asked her to recreate a pair of earrings worn by the lead actress.


A woman - who had inherited a ring from her own mother - had two daughters, both of whom wanted the ring. She requested that an identical copy of the ring be made. Purposely, the mother mixed the rings up so that each daughter would think that they had the original ring. is developed to be a platform to recreate customers' lost damaged or possibly never owned object of desire. It can be a great way to help people recognize their family connections, thanks 3D printing technology.


Source: myheritage


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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