High-tech ultrasound meets 3-D printer to create lasting memories of prenatal development

The 21st century is a fascinating time to be pregnant.  With the dawn of new technologies, fetal science has morphed from a speculative undertaking to an irrefutable proof of the humanity of preborn children.  In the last few years, there have been huge strides in the 3D and 4D ultrasound technologies, which allows mothers to see their babies in utero with unparalleled clarity.

Then, with the emergence and widespread availability of 3D printing, tech-savvy experts had a ‘eureka’ moment: why not combine the clarity of 3D ultrasound imaging with the capabilities of a 3D printer to create a lasting memory of a baby’s growth in the womb?  That’s exactly what several countries have begun doing for expectant moms, as the Washington Post and Reuters reported this week:

The ultrasound images are 3D printed and then cast in plaster.  Trendsetters in the 3D ultrasound-printing niche say that the printed images help to encapsulate parents’ loving feelings and excitement about their child’s development and impending birth.

The technology may have multi-faceted applications in other circumstances as well.  For parents whose children are diagnosed with fatal conditions in utero, 3D printing may be a beautiful means of capturing the child’s short presence on earth, in lieu of the many photos and videos of the child that would have been taken as he or she grew up.

As a testimony to the reality of preborn Life, the printed images may also be a boon to Pro-Life ministry, showing women in a real way what the abortion choice would mean for their children and themselves.