Return of the 3D printed fetus

11 week fetus 3D model

A 3D printed model of a fetus at 11 weeks.

Surely you remember the Japanese service that allows soon-to-be parents to buy a 3D printed figurine of their sonogrammed fetus. It’s great. Now there’s a similar, more practical service called Feto 3D being offered in Brazil at Technologia Humana 3D.

Founder Jorge Roberto Lopes dos Santos originally started the project of 3D printing unborn babies for diagnostic purposes. “We work mainly to help physicians when there is some eventual possibility of malformation,” said dos Santos. But there’s another group of people that use the service: “We also work for parents who want to have the models of their fetuses in 3D.” Many of those parents are blind. Blind parents miss out on the experience of looking at the sonogram screen and seeing their embryonic progeny, but 3D printers can give them something to feel. By printing the 3D sonogram data, parents can hold an inanimate version of their belly gnome. I can only guess how powerful the sense of touch is for a blind person.

This isn’t the first 3D printed solution that aides blind people, and it won’t be the last. 3D printing is so tactile, on-demand, and customizable; it’s ideal for enabling the blind. I’m sure it will only be a few years before bionic eyes are being printed though.

3D printed embryo 8 weeks

An embryo at 8 weeks, scanned and 3D printed

3D printed fetus 12 weeks

The fetus at 12 weeks

3D printed fetus 26 weeks

The unborn child at 26 weeks.

h/t: The Blaze