Expectant couples that are too excited to wait can now commission a life-size model of their unborn baby.
The amazing new medical technology is the result of a Royal College of Art design student’s PhD.
Brazilian student Jorge Lopes has pioneered the conversion of data from ultrasound and MRI scans into life-size plaster models of living embryos using a method called rapid prototyping.
‘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,’ said Dr Lopes.
‘The technology can be also be used as an emotional tool for parents whose foetus might be deformed or need treatment,’ added Hilary French, who heads the School of Architecture and Design Products.
King’s College head of obstetrics Stuart Campbell, called the invention ‘absolutely unique’ and ‘a fantastic development’.
Professor Campbell, who pioneered the use of ultrasound in the 1980s, also hoped the technology would help mothers – blind mothers in particular – to bond with their babies.
Newby Foundries are one of the UK companies pioneering this rapid prototyping process.