Since last year, a Japanese company has been offering "Shape of an Angel", a 3D print of the cute little fetus from an MRI scan for expectant mothers.
The model is created using BioTexture, which turns the image data into 3D data, then is printed on a 3D printer using clear and opaque resins. It's an unusual service providing expectant mothers a physical version of their baby as a reminder of their pregnancy.
Not long after, on the other side of the world, a combination of scanning technologies developed by designer Jorge Lopes and Dr. Heron Werner in Brazil, allows doctors and expectant parents to examine their unborn babies in unprecedented detail, both inside and out. Reuters reports.
Read part of transcript below, and watch the video:
Fabiane Fernando and her husband Luis are visually impaired, but with new 3D scanning and printing technology they are able to "see" their unborn child for the first time.
Called Human 3D Technology by its Brazilian inventors, the scanning technique was originally developed for educational purposes and as a tool for medical practitioners. The detailed visual information detects abnormalities otherwise unseen with an ultrasound. Designer Jorge Lopes explains.
"I wanted to come up with something that was unheard of and would provide some kind of support to the field of fetal medicine. We've made significant scientific strides in that area, providing an important contribution to medicine, which is pretty cool." says Jorge Lopes.
Fernando's doctor, Heron Werner, first performs a conventional ultrasound scan. The second part of the procedure takes place in Lopes' studio. The designer processes the scans with a computer program which assembles an electronic 3D model of the fetus. The model can then be 3D printed as a life-size, three-dimensional replica.
"The technique wasn't initially focused on the visually impaired, but as we realized we could replicate the fetus in a way that was very close to real life, we thought it could be beneficial to blind people. But our original goal when we created this technology was for academic research purposes." says Heron Werner.
Now, the scanning technique is finding fans elsewhere. For the Fernandos and other families, the benefits are clear to see.
"It's like I'm now able to see what the scan is showing, just like any normal person would." says Fabiane Fernando.
Posted in 3D Printing Services
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