At between five hundred to one thousand U.S. dollars, the procedure may sound expensive, but according to My Fox, the demographic of Japanese parents expecting children allows for such a splurge.
“These days in Japan,” says Dr. Satoshi Sohda, the director of Hiroo Women's clinic in Tokyo, “the age at which women are becoming pregnant is increasing, and also the number of children women give birth to on average has decreased to just one or maximum two. Furthermore, couples in their 30s and 40s are generally financially stable and are willing to go to extreme lengths to preserve the memory of the pregnancy."
The technology being used is the same that has been utilized by doctors across the globe to create 3D models of patients’ organs before an operation. These organ replicas can be produced in plastic, gel, or rubber, but the option available to expecting parents is only an image. Although how cool/weird/creepy would that be to hold a full 3D model of your child in rubber — real size, real weight, complete with discernible features like daddy’s nose and mommy’s lips?
Kumi Mendoza is one expecting mom who opted for the printing, and she couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. “When I first saw it I was really moved. The nose and the lips looked so real and the print looked like something that had been done by hand. I'm still surprised that a machine could produce something like this. I was also impressed that this is real size because I can imagine what my baby looks like. I can't wait to meet her."
How do you feel about this new 3D printing process that allows parents to meet their unborn children: compelling or creepy?