Okay, I have to admit that I have been all over 3D printing since I heard about it. I have thought of and read about so many applications it could be used for. But for the life of me, it never occurred to me that this technology can be used to replace those high-tech ultrasound thingies done by expecting mothers.
Yeah, forget about 4D ultrasound. Why do that when you can get a 3D-printed fetus?
You may have to forego a visit to your regular OB if you want more than the usual ultrasound. In fact, you will have to take on the services of a Japanese clinic, Parkside Hiroo Ladies Clinic in Mintao-ku, Tokyo.
Too far for you? Give it a chance before you totally trash the idea.
“Shape of an Angel” is the name given to this concept, which is either brilliant or weird, depending on how you see it. The technology is the brain child of Fasotec, another Japanese company.
How does it work?
First, the expecting mother – together with the fetus, of course – has to undergo an MRI scan. The data that is gathered is given to special 3D software to play with. The next step, obviously, is for a 3D printer to create the 3D-printed fetus.
As it is with real life, the 3D-printed fetus is not printed on its own. It is actually printed inside the mother’s body as well.
I am still undecided as to whether or not this is a cool idea, although I might lean towards the cool part. (Not that I have any plans on conceiving any time in the future, near or far.) Some say it is creepy, but heck, what isn’t creepy about having something growing inside yourself in the first place?
The thing that might hold many people back is the cost. Aside from having to go to the clinic in Japan, the cost of a single 90x60x40mm model is $1,230. That’s more than enough to pay the hospital bills for a normal delivery in some places!
Still, if it interests you and you’ve got the money, then you know you have the option to get a 3D-printed fetus. Weird or not.