I’m not sure how this makes me feel: 3D models of unborn babies

November 30, 2012
Ultrasounds and especially the 3D scans were some of the highlights of my pregnancy. I have them all printed out, and often show them to my son, remarking at the wonder of the similarity between his face in utero and now.

But there’s something I find creepy about moulds or models of things, like hands and feet, and now, unborn babies.

Fasotec, an engineering company and Parkside Hiroo Ladies clinic have teamed up to offer the service since July 30. The way it works is similar to an ultrasound, but in this case they use MRI scans.

Mashable explains the process as such: The next step is a technology called Bio-Texture modeling, which converts the MRI data and into a 3D image. A 3D printer builds up the three-dimensional image using two different resins that produce two different colours. The result is a fetus represented in a creamy color surrounded by the mother’s tissue, represented as transparent (see image above).

The resolution of the image isn’t perfect — but the clinics say that many expectant mothers are delighted by the service, which costs 100,000 yen (about $1,200 at current exchange rates), not including the cost of the MRI.

For those who would like a less-pricey version, the company will start offering a 3D model of the face of the fetus for half that price at 50,000 yen in December.

The technology is about more than providing mementos to mothers, though. Fasotec says the printer can output 3D models of organs, as well, which could be used to train physicians. In fact, the fetus-printing idea was a spin-off the company is using to publicise the more general organ-imaging it does.

What do you think? Creepy, or a must-have souvenir or memory?

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  • Kim Muller

    Definitely creepy. I don’t think I’d want a 3D model of my foetus on my dressing table. The ultrasounds and 3D scans are more than enough for me.

    November 30, 2012 at 10:20 am Reply
  • shane

    i would not want it on my wardrobe.

    December 3, 2012 at 12:43 am Reply
  • Vanessa Ngubeni

    Weird though, but a good memento to have I guess.

    December 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm Reply
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