The eerie 3D model which allows parents to hold their baby… BEFORE it's even bornThe scan and model cost 100,000 yen – around 760 – from a Japanese companyThe model is even available in a miniature version 'perfect for a key chain'Soon parents will also be able to order a replica of just the face of their foetus too
12:02 GMT, 28 November 2012
Expectant parents who cannot wait to hold their new child can now buy a three-dimensional model of the foetus to cradle and show friends.
Japanese inventors have devised a way to transform the commonplace ultrasound scan into an anatomically correct resin replica for parents to handle and keep as a memento.
The nine-centimetre (3.6-inch) resin model of the white foetus, encased in a transparent block in the shape of the mother's body, is fashioned by a 3D printer after an MRI scan.
Expectant parents in Japan who can't wait to show the world what their baby will look like can now buy a 3D model of the foetus to pass around their friends
FASOTEC, the company offering the 'Shape of an Angel' model, even offers parents a miniature version which could be a 'nice adornment to a mobile phone strap or key chain.'
Tomohiro Kinoshita, of FASOTEC, said: 'As it is only once in a lifetime that you are pregnant with that child, we received requests for these kind of models from pregnant women who… do not want to forget the feelings and experience of that time.'
The 'Shape of an Angel' costs 100,000 yen (or around 760), and the company said the ideal time for a scan is around eight or nine months into the pregnancy.
The company also offers the acrylic resin scan as a small charm 'perfect for hanging from a mobile phone or key chain'
For those who would like a less pricey version, the company will start offering a 3D model of the face of the foetus at 50,000 yen – 380 – in December.
It will use ultrasound images taken at a medical clinic in Tokyo that has forged a tie-up with the company.
FASOTEC, originally a supplier of devices including 3D printers, uses a layering technique to build up three-dimensional structures.
The company also produces 3D models of internal organs that can be used by doctors to plan surgery or by medical students for training, a spokesman said.
It is also possible that models can be used in hospitals to better inform patients what their problems are, instead of relying on difficult-to-understand diagrams.
The technology 'realises not only the form but also texture of the model — for example making it hard or soft', the firm said .
'/11/28/article-2239648-163A71CF000005DC-932_634x470.jpg” width=”634″ height=”470″ alt=”Soon the company will be offering parents a model of their unborn child's face ” class=”blkBorder” />
Soon the company will be offering parents a model of their unborn child's face
The machines work in a similar way to an inkjet printer, but instead of ink they deposit layers of material on top of each other, gradually building up the product they are making.
Where traditional manufacturing only becomes efficient with economies of scale because of the need to produce moulds, 3D printing is capable of producing single copies of relatively complicated objects.
The technology is not yet advanced enough to build telephones or computers but it is already used to make components.