For parents-to-be, the ultrasound is typically a powerful moment: They get a first glimpse of their child. But traditional ultrasound technology doesn’t allow that experience for people who are visually impaired.
So a doctor in Maryland has turned to 3D printing technology for a touching solution. Using specialized ultrasound technology, she was able to print a model of the face of the fetus that the expectant parents could feel.
In recent years, 3D printing has been used for all kinds of innovations – silly and meaningful alike. People have printed art, musical instruments, prostheses, and even a beak for an injured toucan.
Receiving the 3D printed model was “really emotional,” Taylor Ellis, the mother-to-be, told The Washington Post. “I was a little bit nervous about opening the box,” she said. “I had never seen a 3-D [image], and now, it’s your baby, and it’s, like, wow.”
For Melissa Riccobono, president of the Maryland Parents of Blind Children, who is visually impaired herself, this is an exciting possibility – not just for visually impaired parents.
“For families, instead of having to show them a picture of an ultrasound, how cool it would be for them to get their hands on it, what the baby is like now,” she told the Post. “It’s a really cool way to meet that little being inside of you before you actually meet that little being.”
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