First there were sonogram videos and photos. Then there was ultrasound viewing parties. And now there are 3D-printed fetuses so you can hold your “baby” while he or she is still in the womb. Could this be the next trend in pregnancy keepsakes?
Based on their Indiegogo campaign and Facebook page, it looks like 3D Babies launched this past fall.
The company takes 3D /4D ultrasound images submitted by parents-to-be to tailor the facial features of the fetal figurine. Parents can choose between two poses (fetal position or arms and legs raised) and between three skin tones (light, medium and dark). The final product is produced using a 3D printer. The life size figurine, based on the average size of a 23-24 week fetus, goes for $800. Half size babies go for $400 and miniature versions cost $200.
The Japanese company Fasotec had been doing something similar at least since 2012, except that they were using MRI fetal images to generate 3D-printed fetuses. Since then it seems they might have stopped that to now create figurines of unborn babies’ faces. “Originally, the company had used MRI scans to capture a fully three-dimensional model of the unborn fetus, but, because of a fear of the possible damage that radiation might do to the mother and child – a small price to pay to know whether your kid’s going to be ugly or not before it’s born – they’ve opted for performing an ultrasound of just the child’s face,” reported Michael Molitch-Hou for 3D Printing Industry last July.
Adorable or Just Plain Weird?
If you’re creeped out by the notion of a 3D doll of your unborn baby or someone else’s, you might feel more comfortable finding out that 3D Babies is not some massive mill printing out babies on conveyor belts. It’s literally a “Mom and Pop” business founded and co-owned by husband and wife, and the parents of two young girls, Gerard and Katie Bessette. “Every time another family member or friend has a baby, we are reminded of our first few months with our girls,” states their Indiegogo page. “More importantly, we are reminded of how much we have forgotten about that time. In an attempt to hold on to those memories, we created a way to make a 3D figurine of what our baby looked like at that time.”
Still, during a recent interview with the Fox Business Network, anchor Melissa Francis brought up a good point: “It’s a keepsake; it’s a memento…where do you put that? On your mantle?”