Expectant mothers will now be able to memorialize their pregnancy by having the image and likeness of their unborn child printed out as an almost life-size plastic model as well as a miniature version that can be used as a cellphone accessory.
FASOTEC, a company that specializes and sells 3D printers, is offering the service, named “Shape of an Angel”, in partnership with a Tokyo medical clinic that will perform the necessary MRI scanning. For 100,000 yen ($1,200 U.S.), clients will get a nine centimeter resin model of the fetus including a smaller version. 50,000 yen ($600 U.S.) will get you only a 3D model of the face. The 3D printers use a layering technique, depositing layers of material on top of each other, to produce an accurate model based on ultrasound images of the baby. Tomohiro Kinoshita of FASOTEC reveals that they have gotten a lot of requests for this kind of product from mothers who want to keep a memento of their pregnancy.
But aside from memorabilia, the fetus model can also be used for medical purposes, allowing doctors to see possible problems with the birth process. The 3D models are also easier for patients to understand compared to flat images. FASOTEC also prints models of internal organs that also mimic the texture of real organs, making it ideal for simulating operations and surgical procedures.
[ via MSN News ]
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