‘Groundbreaking’ invention creates life-sized 3D models of unborn children
An art design student in Britain has developed a new method to use ultrasound and MRI scans to create life-sized plaster models of living embryos. One leading obstetrician has called the invention “absolutely unique” and a “fantastic development.”
Jorge Lopes, the Brazilian design student whose invention was part of his Royal College of Art doctorate work, calls the method rapid prototyping, the Daily Mail says. The device used is comparable to a printer that prints plastic powder instead of ink, slowly building a three-dimensional model.
“It’s amazing to see the faces of the mothers. They can see the full scale of their baby, really understand the size of it,” Lopes remarked.
Lopes is sponsored at the college by the Brazilian government. His research examined the practical use of model-making over the centuries, beginning with mummies then moving to dinosaurs and then fetuses.
His work uses computer techniques first shown by Ron Arad, a designer famous worldwide who heads design products at the Royal College of Art.
Arad called Lopes’ work a “ground-breaking new field of world importance.”
One reviewer of Lopes’ doctoral work said he did not know whether he was looking at science or art.
King’s College head of obstetrics Stuart Campbell, who supervised Lopes, said the technology was “absolutely unique” and “a fantastic development.”
Campbell, a pioneer in ultrasound use, hoped the development would help mothers, especially blind mothers, bond with their babies, the Daily Mail says.