A Japanese company creates 3D prints of your unborn fetus
For expectant parents prenatal ultrasound scans are one of the most anticipated stages of a pregnancy and for many, the pixelated images are enough to tie them over until they can hold their child in their arms — for the rest there’s Fasotec’s new “Shape of an Angel” service. Japanese company Fasotec, which normally creates 3D models for healthcare education and industry, is now offering 3D printed replicas of unborn fetuses based on scans of the pregnant mother.
Fasotec’s unique service uses CT or MRI scans to obtain 3D data of the mother and fetus, which is then processed and printed in 3D. The 3D printer sprays two resins simultaneously, a transparent resin for the mother’s body and a white resin for the fetus, creating an accurate, if somewhat kitschy, physical replica of the fetus suspended within its mother’s womb.
Printing out a 40x60x90mm simulacrum of your bundle of joy will set you back 100,000 yen, or about $1250, plus the costs of the CT or MRI imaging required to gather the 3D data. The standard service includes a decorative pink-and-white box but if you’re interested in a custom size or accessories such as pendants, fetus keychains or cellphone dongles that’ll be extra.
The process, which Fasotec is calling “Bio-Texture”, is the latest in a line of recent innovations to make use of 3D printing, an emerging technology enjoying a boom in popularity and accessibility thanks to affordable printers such as the MakerBot and model cataloging sites such as THINGIVERSE and, the ever controversial, Pirates Bay’s “Physibles” section.
Aside from a 3D printed fetus suspended upside down in a 3D printed belly seeming a little non-traditional, it’s sure to please some parents-to-be, so why not? It may not be as heartwarming as 3D printed arms helping a little girl get her hug-on, but it sure beats your neighbour 3D printing functional gun parts in their basement.
Would you ever consider having a 3D replica made of your unborn child?