3-D Printer Helps Blind Parents Feel Unborn Baby Before She’s Born

National   Steven Ertelt   Feb 21, 2014   |   6:56PM    Washington, DC

The marvels of modern technology are bringing the experience of pregnancy to people who may otherwise not able to enjoy the same kinds of ultrasound pictures the rest of us get to enjoy and appreciate.

The use of 3-D printers is helping blind people who can’t see an ultrasound photo to enjoy a more tactile experience by being able to hold a 3-d model of their unborn baby. From The Blaze:

Using 3D printing technology, the Brazilian company Tecnologia Humana 3D constructs physical replicas of a growing embryo or baby based on sonogram data.

Company Makes 3D Printed Embryos and Fetuses for Parents and Diagnostic Purposes

The company’s “Feto 3D” project initiated by founder Jorge Roberto Lopes dos Santos was initially created for diagnostic purposes. dos Santos found it had other applications as well though, like helping blind patients feel the growing baby they could not see on a screen.

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“We work mainly to help physicians when there is some eventual possibility of malformation,” dos Santos said in an article published on Tech Page One earlier this month. “We also work for parents who want to have the models of their fetuses in 3D.”

Neva Fairchild with the American Foundation for the Blind told Tech Page One she saw a benefit to such an application of technology for those in the visually impaired community.

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“Fifteen months ago, my first grandchild was born and they had numerous sonograms and I missed out on all of that,” Fairchild, who is legally blind, said.

Other companies have similar technologies. 3D Babies, a California company, says it will create a fetal doll from the mother’s 3D/4D ultrasound pictures:

“We create an adorable baby figurine resembling your baby’s facial features and body position.  We use your 3D/4D ultrasound images or newborn baby pictures to create a unique artistic representation of your baby using the latest computer graphics and 3D printing technology.  This is a great way to share the excitement of your new baby with family and friends.  Your 3D Baby will be a treasured family remembrance of your pregnancy and new baby.”