Friday, January 02, 2009


Gotta love those scientists when they do something cool:

A clinic is offering mothers bronze models of their unborn babies.

The London Ultrasound Centre, near Harley Street, is the first in the country to offer the service, which allows parents to 'celebrate' their babies in the womb.

A 3D printer uses ultrasound images to build a cast of the child. The models cost £1,200, take up to two-and-a-half weeks to make, and are created when the mother is at a safe stage of pregnancy at 24 weeks.

Doctors say the technology could also help improve survival rates for sick babies. Accurate casts of birth defects could be taken in the womb then studied by surgeons before they operate.

Which . . . oh I don't know could still manage to aggravate someone out there. Anyway, the technology--nearly similar to that toy-store novelty--the one where you can shove your face into a canvas of movable "nails" and then see your own mask--is intriguing to say the least:

Instead of ink, the printer uses a special dust which is built up layer by layer. An adhesive glues these layers together to form an accurate cast of the unborn baby. This mould is then used to make the bronze.

Hopefully, a widespread demand and sufficient and predictable copycatting will drive the prices down. Seems safe enough, at the outset anyway.


1 comment:

aahrens said...

"Copycating" is the key word - sure hope that happens. Just when I was giving up hope on the Brits, they go and redeem themselves.