Procreate 4-D creates ultrasound sculptures with 3-D printer

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Procreate 4D is able to provide expecting mothers an ultrasound sculpture with the use of a 3D printer. (KABC)

Regular sonograms give expectant parents a brief peek into their developing baby. But a new technology is offering an even better bonding experience for a mother during her pregnancy.

Dreaming about the arrival of their first child took up a lot of George Borrego and Rosemary Tapia's thoughts.

"I just wanted to know who she looked more like, me or him, or you know what features she's going to have," Tapia said.

A sonogram, even a 3-D sonogram, couldn't provide the answer for the Borrego and Tapia, so the parents-to-be took their pregnancy experience to the next level.

Procreate 4-D founder Fernando Farias used his background in visual effects, medical technology and 3-D printing to create what he calls an HD Live statue of a developing fetus.

"If a person was blind, they couldn't see an image but could they feel the baby. I started thinking about how could I resolve the issue by being able to print something and allow them to give them that extra gift to help bond with their child," said Farias.

Even when the fetus is just 27 to 30 weeks old, the facial features are fully developed. So being able to see a 3D picture or touch what your baby's nose is going to be like, adds to the bonding experience.

The resin model costs $55, but packages go up to $125. It gave Borrego and Tapia the chance to catch details they couldn't see in pictures.

"Military families. The military husband sometimes gets to leave and he doesn't get to bond with the child," said Farias.

But how close does the high-tech rendering taken at 28 weeks resemble the real thing? Just hours after Miabella was born at Kaiser Baldwin Park, her parents did a real life comparison.

"You can kind of see the similarities between the nose, the lips and then the shape of her eyes," said Borrego.

Side-by-side they saw the similarities. But even with all the preparation, nothing compared with seeing Miabella face-to-face.

"I couldn't stop crying when I saw her," said Tapia.

Related Topics:
healthhealthy livingpregnancypregnant womanbirth3D printingLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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