New Technology Allows Parents to Hold Life-Size Model of Their Unborn Child
by Steven Ertelt
June 29, 2009
London, England (LifeNews.com) — Stunning new technology is allowing parents to go beyond a 3D or 4D ultrasound to bond with their unborn child in ways never imaginable. A student at the Royal College of Art in Britain has created life-like models based on pictures of unborn children that are the exact shape and size of the baby in the womb.
Fetal models have long been a staple of county fairs and health education classes across the country, but one student has gone further.
Brazilian student Jorge Lopes is a PhD. student at the college and he has pioneered the use of converting data from ultrasounds and MRI scans to form life-size plastic models in a process called rapid prototyping.
"Its amazing to see the faces of the mothers. They can see the full scale of their baby, really understand the size of it," Lopes told the London Daily Mail newspaper.
One way to conceive of the idea behind the new process is to imagine a printer that relies on plastic powder instead of the ink that normally goes on a sheet of paper. As the plastic build up, it creates a 3D model instead of a flat image on paper.
Aine Duffy from the RCA added, "It’s stunning technology – here at the RCA we use it for everything from new medical devices, to car components, to jewelry, to architectural models."
Lopes’ work is slated to appear at an exhibition opening in London today.
The process is drawing positive comments from Dr. Staurt Campbell, who pioneered ultrasound imaging in Britain in the 1980s.
"I don’t know whether I am looking at science or I am looking at art," he said, calling the process "absolutely unique" and "a fantastic development."
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