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Koffin start-up uses 3D printing

Liverpool start-up Koffin is using advanced material testing and 3D printing technology to help create its first batch of customisable eco-coffins, with support from business programme LCR 4.0.

With funeral costs having risen over 70 per cent in the last decade, Koffin was founded by artist Gina Czarnecki in 2014 as a sustainable and affordable alternative to traditional coffins.

Created from a lignin-based biopolymer, the caskets are 100 per cent biodegradable and can be personalised with different colours, photographs or hand-written messages. They can also be adapted with 3D printing to create different shapes.

The collaboration with LCR 4.0 – which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund – saw Koffin work closely with delivery partner Sensor City to test an affordable and sustainable alternative to traditional methods. 

Sensor City helped Koffin undertake a finite element analysis (FEA) of the prototype’s material and design to determine the optimum material thickness that would be needed to withhold sufficient pressure.

Koffin also worked with LCR 4.0 partner, Liverpool John Moores University to use additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – to create different decorations that can be attached to the coffin. After four years of development, Koffin has now gone into production, and will have a limited initial run of £500 coffins available from its website.

Gina Czarnecki, founder of Koffin said: “Funeral prices are increasing drastically, and people deserve the right to a personalised send-off that isn’t going to break the bank. “The work with LCR 4.0 has enabled us to test our design that creates a cost-effective alternative that emits less CO2 emissions than a natural plant.”

Koffin is set to launch a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funds needed to take further products to market. Twenty of the Koffins, decorated through a national public call-out are now on display in Liverpool. You can see them at the Oratory, next to the Anglican Cathedral.

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