As someone who often takes their sight for granted, the thought of not being able to see my theoretical future children on an ultrasound monitor has never crossed my mind. It has, however, crossed the minds of Polish company In Utero 3D, who provide 3D printed reliefs of the fetus for blind parents-to-be.
In Utero 3D is a business in Poland. While it is not the first company to offer this kind of technology, it is the most accessible. They offer a program called “Waiting Without Barriers,” specifically for blind mothers, which provides 3D printed ultrasounds to parents all over the world for a token cost of €1. If the parents-to-be are in Poland, they receive the bas-relief. If they reside anywhere else in the world, the company will convert the file and send a 3D model file, ready for printing. Documentation of visual impairment will need to be provided for Waiting Without Borders, but this can be easily obtained through In Utero 3D’s partner doctors. If you are outside of Poland, you can simply email the documentation.
- The doctor conducts the 3D ultrasound examination (18th – 30rd week of pregnancy). The files should then be saved in Cartesian Volume Files (.vol) format for ultrasounds taken with GE Voluson equipment, or DICOM (.dcm) format for Aloka instruments. The files are then sent to In Utero 3D’s secure server.
- In Utero 3D converts the 3D ultrasound to a 3D model of the baby’s face in 1:1 scale. They then print the model in PLA (if the location is in Poland).
- You are then able to touch your baby before it is born.
They also keep perfectly to the ultrasound- they do not alter it in any way or ‘idealize’ the baby’s face. The amazing experience of seeing and feeling your baby before it is born is now able to be shared by everyone, and with a fairly quick turnaround time too. International clients can expect the files to be emailed to them within two days, while Polish parents can have their ultrasound 3D printed in around 4 days.