I am not a parent, unless you count my dogs and cats, but I have many friends who are, and their excitement is tangible when they get to hang that first ultrasound picture on the fridge, or put it in a special picture frame, or post it on Facebook for the world to see. I imagine it must be thrilling to be able to look at your baby before it’s born and start forming that connection, especially if it’s one of the super detailed 3D ultrasounds. But what if, instead of a 2D picture, you had a 3D printed version of your unborn baby’s ultrasound to display proudly? We’ve seen this in 3D printed visages and ultrasounds for the visually impaired before, but Pietro Usai’s Mediterranean company Sirbonu OÜ offers something a little different – 3D printed ultrasound statues.
Over the last decade or so, ultrasound technology has really advanced, and in many ways, 3D printing technology has helped with this. Sirbonu, with roots in Sardinia, is the official EMEA distributor of TOMOVISION BabySliceO ultrasound conversion software, which gives clients the ability to convert 3D and 4D ultrasound data into 3D printable files. It works with most of the currently available 3D ultrasound data formats, like Spherical Systems and Cartesian, and its interactive segmentation and editing tools can be used to create a quality 3D model by isolating certain voxels so undesired tissues can be removed.
Usai refers to these detailed 3D and 4D ultrasounds as ’emotional ultrasounds,’ as it grants the wish of parents who want to see their baby in the womb, though he makes sure to note that in all emotional ultrasound sessions, which should always be done by specialists, the baby’s needs will come before the parents’.
“To see the child and learn to know this little person before it is even born is very special,” Usai said. “The 3D emotional ultrasound can help mothers and fathers to form an early bond with the child. A bond that allows them to get earlier into the parenting role. A possibility to reduce the shock of the child suddenly being there in your arms. All are valid reasons for a person who wants it to choose for a 3D ultrasound and a 3D Baby Statue. Additionally, it allows the easy share between social networks such as brothers and sisters and grandparents. In this age of social networks, nothing goes far enough and this fits right into this behavior.”
The BabySliceO software creates the 3D polygonal models, and the program makes it easy to hollow the models out with just one click, so raw printing materials aren’t wasted. The software will also export the model in up to six different polygonal formats, including OBJ and STL.
The company promises that the baby’s image is not altered in any way from the ultrasound data to the 3D printed statue, and there is no cost to send the file, which Sirbonu says any ultrasound machine is capable of making. So if the client gets an STL file of their baby in 3D and decides to keep it as a digital photo instead of purchasing a 3D printed statue, that’s okay. Additionally, clients get to decide the size and color used for their statue. Sirbonu’s 3D printing service for ultrasound clinics, which also offers delivery of the 3D printed ultrasound statue, includes:
- Conversion only – you can see the baby, but the data in the 3D file is not cleaned; €15 per volume
- Conversion and cleaning – the image will be cleaned, but not hollowed out, with a height of ±80mm, which your chosen 3D printer can optimize before printing; €25-35, 4-5 volumes in a month
- 3D printed and framed ultrasound – the ultrasound statue will be 3D printed in gypsum, and a photo in a white frame, is included; €95-100 per model, depending on the number of conversions per month
Discuss in the Ultrasound Statues forum at 3DPB.com.[Source/Images: Sirbonu OÜ]
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