Cremation Urns and 3D Printing Make Odd Bedfellows – Or Do They?

By: Pete Saari

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. If you’re innovative and resourceful then you’re always looking for a better mousetrap and a better way to come up with an uncommon solution to a common problem. So, what problems were we trying to solve when we introduced the idea of using 3D printing technology to make 3D printed cremation urns, or as we prefer to call them, one-of-a kind urn masterpieces?

Before I answer that question, let me educate you a little bit on 3D Printing, an emerging manufacturing technology and cremation urns, a stagnant product in and emerging growth market demographic (individuals and families who are choosing cremation as their preferred end-of-life alternative).

What is 3D Printing?

By now, you have inevitably heard of 3D printing. Many think it’s a new technology, but its roots trace back to the mid-1980s. 3D printing is the most cost-effective way to create a one-of-a-kind article. Why? Because you can work directly from digital art—most commonly a CAD file—and skip the step of making a mold or blueprint. 3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing because instead of whittling away, or machining an item, you build by stacking layers of material. Many people mistakenly think you can only print in single color plastics, but material properties have advanced to the point now where you can 3D print in metals, ceramics, food products, and even cell structures.

3D Printing Meets Cremation Urns

Cremation urns, until now, have been the product that time forgot. Twenty-five years ago, the cremation rate (people choosing cremation vs. burial) was around 10%. Today, the cremation rate is over 50% and trending more towards 70%. Yet the funeral service industry still believes that people choose cremation because they either don’t have, or don’t want to spend, the money it takes to remember their loved ones in a unique and meaningful way. As a result, the cremation urn never evolved.

So, back to the original question: what problems were we trying to solve by introducing 3D printed cremation urns?

The answer is a lack of choice and quality options in a growing market. Before we came along, cremation urns were limited to a vase or a box. Your choice was limited to whether you liked the blue vase, a floral patterned vase, or whether you wanted a name plate engraved to the box.

Custom Urns at Foreverence

3D printing provides our customers with the freedom of choice to express themselves and their loved one’s legacy in the most unique and personal way. It’s the culmination of creative thinking and technical knowhow to bring innovation to a product that hasn’t changed in literally thousands of years.

We appreciate all of the families we have served for allowing us to help them in such an important way.