3-D Printer Makes Model Memento of Fetus for Parents

Jul 20, 2013 5:27pm
GTY 3d fetus jef 130722 3 D Printer Makes Model Memento of Fetus for Parents

Fasotec employee Tomohiro Kinoshita, displays a nine-month fetus and mother's body image, made of two-colour acrylic resin at the company's headquarters in Chiba, suburban Tokyo, Nov. 26, 2012. (Image credit: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

Most parents have to wait until their child is born to see what they look like, but new technology is letting parents create 3D models of their child’s face, no labor required.

The Japanese company Fasotec developed technology that uses ultrasound scans and a 3D printer to create a life size mold of a fetus’ face according to ABCNews affiliate WJBF-TV in Augusta, Ga.

Kyoko Aizaka had one made of her now 2-month old son, Kyosuke, during her third trimester.

“When we did it I was eight months pregnant, so he already had a human shape and baby face,” Aizaka told WJBF-TV. “I wonder how I’d have felt if I’d seen him earlier in my pregnancy”

While the models created from ultrasounds are more mementos than medical evidence, the same technology can be used to help doctors practice for surgery.

Tomohiro Kinoshita, of Fasotec, told WJBF-TV that the machine can also help with diagnosis or complicated surgeries. For example doctors can replicate an organ to practice a complicated operation before they even touch their patient.

“What’s amazing about this technology is if … you do a scanning, we can make whatever is in the scanning screen,” said Kinoshita.

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3D printers have increasingly been used in the medical field. Last year doctors were able to print a custom replacement jaw for a woman in the Netherlands from a 3D printer.

The new technology may be impressive, but it is not cheap. Buying a mold of your child before they are born cost approximately $500 per model, a bit more than your average snapshot.

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