EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. >> A Minnesota startup is using a 3-D printer to create custom urns shaped like objects that were important to the person whose remains they hold.
The Eden Prairie-based Foreverence offers urns that are made with a ceramic material that looks different than the plastic material typically produced by a 3-D printer. The process takes nearly an entire day, starting with about nine hours of printing, and then followed by several hours of touchups, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
Each urn is unique and can take the form of just about anything, including ballet slippers, cars and instruments.
“I’m fascinated by the endless possibilities,” company CEO Pete Saari said.
It has even made an urn shaped like the signature hats worn by rock band Devo when co-founder Bob Casale died earlier this year. Foreverence offered Casale’s family the urn and ended up making two for them. Casale’s family told the company that it was “the first joyous moment in a dark period of time for them,” Saari said.
Foreverence sells its urns, which typically cost thousands of dollars, through funeral directors.
“We want funeral directors to keep conversations focused on legacy,” said Saari, whose privately held company launched five months ago. “What was important to the deceased? What was symbolic of a life, a dream, the pursuit of a passion?”
The urn is created by a ceramic-composite material that’s fed into the 3-D printer in a powdered form. Its shape gradually takes form with coloring that bonds each layer together, and staff members put the final touches on the urns.