Oct. 27, 2014 | By Alec

Few people enjoy talking about the death of your loved ones, and who can blame them? Thoughts about that can be upsetting. However, it isn't something that can be avoided forever.

And if we do have to think about things like that, who wouldn't prefer a personalized, original and thoughtful object that really captures who your loved ones were and what they enjoyed? In a nutshell, that is what the Minnesota-based start-up Foreverence seeks to provide with their 3D printing services.

Based in the small city of Eden Prairie, the team behind Foreverence uses 3D printing technology to create custom-made cremation urns that are shaped exactly like objects that were important to the person whose remains are kept within.

While this might sound a bit strange at first, it is actually a very thoughtful thing. Most cremation urns are just typical objects that have little or nothing to do with the person they are meant for; there are a few custom-made urns available, but these can quickly be tacky or creepy. Foreverence, instead, aims a bit higher.

Their 3D printed urns can be shaped like just about anything. Did the deceased love a particular car or a guitar? No problem, as 3D printing allows Foreverence's urns to have any shape you'd like. Previous orders have taken the shape of beautifully crafted ballet slippers, cowboy hats and even a piano. As can be seen in the images above, all of these are high-quality constructions.

They have even 3D printed an urn shaped like an 'energy dome' when recording artist Bob Casale died earlier this year. The members of the rockband Devo, which Casale co-founded, wore hats shaped like these domes. Foreverence offered Casale's family this special urn and in the end even made to for them. The company's CEO, Pete Saari, told twincities that Casale's family told him it 'was the first joyous moment in a dark period of time for them.'

And this is what these urns are all about, Saari went on to explain. 'Each urn is unique, something funeral directors who are focused on selling products in bulk can sometimes misunderstand, This is a market saturated with me-too products.' And through these urns, Foreverence want to give the families the opportunity to focus on legacy again.

As they wrote, 'What inspires the fondest memory of a loved one? Is it an item that was truly unique to them? Is it a symbol of a hobby or a pursuit of passion? Is it an abstract work of art? What is that perfect tribute to an extraordinary life?'

Foreverence has only launched five months ago, conveniently at a time when traditional burial practices are being replaced more and more often by cremation. At the same time, they're also taking advantage of the massive growth of the 3D printing. While not revealing what type of printer is being used to develop their thought-provoking urns, reporters have revealed that they're using a high-level industrial grade 3D printer, which the results obviously imply. What we do know is that Foreverence is sharing manufacturing space with to other companies specializing in 3D printing technology: Nexxt Technologies, a reseller of large commercial 3D printers, and 3D Printing Ally, a print-on-demand service.

As for 3D printing material, these objects have been made of an unnamed ceramic-composite material that comes in powdered form, suggesting that the printer at least uses SLS 3D printing technology. Printing reportedly takes up to nine hours, and is followed by an extensive post-printing process done by staff members with a degree from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Obviously, all this results in a hefty price tag (up to a few thousand dollars), which is understandable for a finished product of such 3D printed quality. While you cannot currently buy an urn on their website, it is possible to bring funeral directors into contact with Foreverence, who will then handle the final transactions.

Despite the technological fog, the results speak for themselves. Not only are these urns beautiful tributes to the deceased, they also exemplify what 3D printing is all about. As Saari wrote, 'A legacy spans a lifetime – every year, every month, every day, every moment. Just as a puzzle is not complete without each piece, a human being is not complete without every tiny fragment, no matter how seemingly small.'

And 3D printing technology enables you, whether it's for the living or deceased, to capture those personal moments and give them shape again.

Also check out this short clip on Foreverence's urns:


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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David Somers wrote at 6/16/2016 7:09:26 AM:

how about a 1967 camaro in burgandy

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