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Print Your Own Foetus
August 8, 2012 8:06 AM   Subscribe

For US$1275, You Can Get a 3D Model of Your Foetus The result is a scale reproduction of your unborn baby, composed of an opaque white fetus encased in the mother’s clear, colorless abdomen. [via The Verge]
posted by modernnomad (82 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The only thing good about this is the phrase "your own inaction figure".
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:12 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would buy one for breedering people's sprogs I care about.
And I hate kids.
posted by Mezentian at 8:12 AM on August 8, 2012


Can I get one of my cat's kittens?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:13 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


As if mammalian reproduction wasn't horrifying enough to begin with.
posted by scratch at 8:13 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


NO
posted by elizardbits at 8:16 AM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


NO Amazeballs

Fixed.
posted by Fizz at 8:18 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Damn! I had this idea a few years ago. I knew it would be wildly profitable (people go nuts over babies) and they were just starting to routinely do 3D ultrasounds, so the data was there.

I didn't act on it, though. Woe is me.
posted by BeeDo at 8:19 AM on August 8, 2012


Oh sweet Babby Hey-sus, please don't let my parents see this. By their own admission, they are already flashing around the 3D sonogram pics as "This is my granddaughter"...
posted by romakimmy at 8:20 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want a 3D model of myself when I was a fetus, so I can mock it about all the bad decisions it is going to make over the decades. It will let me externalize my self-loathing, and I think my therapist would approve. Well, as much as my therapist is going to approve of me buying a model fetus.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:20 AM on August 8, 2012 [14 favorites]


I think they'd make more money if this became a routine thing and you paid for it not to happen.
posted by griphus at 8:22 AM on August 8, 2012 [25 favorites]


I think my eye has printed a 3D something.

No, wait, that was the other 3d printing thread. Y'know, the one that wasn't creepy amazeballs.
posted by fragmede at 8:25 AM on August 8, 2012


Can I use the 3D rendering as a FPS sprite? I've always wanted to fight a bunch of nazi-zombie fetuses.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:25 AM on August 8, 2012


I eagerly anticipate the appearances of these plastic models on Maury.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:26 AM on August 8, 2012


I eagerly anticipate the appearances of these plastic models on Maury. Autons.
posted by Mezentian at 8:28 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


...an opaque white fetus encased in the mother’s clear, colorless abdomen...

I'm always reminded of the hilarious line in Bloom County when Oliver Wendell Jones wears a bandaid and Milo (I think) asks "Convenient flesh tone, eh?"
posted by DU at 8:28 AM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am 7 months pregnant and while my brain is shouting "weird!", my hormones are shouting "YES!"
posted by amro at 8:29 AM on August 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think the only acceptable use is to buy about six of them and place them in the refrigerator without explanation to any house mates.
posted by skrozidile at 8:33 AM on August 8, 2012 [14 favorites]


I am so very very happy that I had my children before fetuses became a hip accessory.
posted by Isadorady at 8:33 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stay away from my unicorn baby.
posted by fleacircus at 8:33 AM on August 8, 2012


Coworker had one of these.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:34 AM on August 8, 2012


Looks like someone has solved the rather niche problem of one's office/mantel/living room not being Giger-esque enough without having to come up with actual fetuses in formaldehyde, as those are kind of hard to come by.
posted by valkyryn at 8:35 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


fetuses became a hip accessory.

A few inches over, actually.
posted by DU at 8:35 AM on August 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


I am so very very happy that I had my children before fetuses became a hip accessory.

If they're a hip accessory, seems like you're doing it wrong.
posted by maryr at 8:36 AM on August 8, 2012


Dammit, DU.
posted by maryr at 8:36 AM on August 8, 2012


/Strongly reminded of David's best scene from Prometheus.
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on August 8, 2012


For less than one tenth of that you can get a cake.
posted by eye of newt at 8:37 AM on August 8, 2012


3D sonograms are maybe the worst and creepiest thing that had ever happened ... and now there's this.

Can I use the 3D rendering as a FPS sprite?

If you really wanted to troll fundies, you could call it "Planned Parenthood: the Game."
posted by uncleozzy at 8:37 AM on August 8, 2012


the product is based on a digital model of the mother’s torso built from CT or MRI scans...

It may be different in Japan, but there is no way in hell in pregnant woman in the US is getting a CT scan for this, given our general attitude toward potential teratogens here. An MRI, maybe, but that would approximately double the overall cost (although I understand MRIs are far cheaper in Japan and are very widely used).
posted by TedW at 8:38 AM on August 8, 2012


Now I really want to find some fetus to use as a template for adding all sorts of features in some kind of 3D design program; I'm thinking of printing a half dozen of them with stuff like unicorn horns, bat wings, prominant gills, or wolverine claws. Then I'd leave them in my freezer just like they are in that picture for guests to find.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:51 AM on August 8, 2012


I thought the tail was supposed to be vestigial?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:53 AM on August 8, 2012


Now I really want to find some fetus to use as a template for adding all sorts of features in some kind of 3D design program

Here you are
posted by TedW at 8:54 AM on August 8, 2012


What's with the fetishization of fetuses that's been going on over the last few years? Is this something that's been a long-standing phenomenon but has just recently come to my attention, or is this degree of fetus fixation actually a new thing? When I look at that fetus sculpture all I think is "wow, that's creepy". Not because it's a fetus -- I mean, I've seen preserved actual fetuses before on several occasions, and they're a bit gross but in an educational context I understand the value. They don't wig me out.

There's something that strikes me as creepy about the idea that one would obsess over one's unborn child in that way -- I mean obviously one should take care of one's fetus and do everything possible to make it healthy, but something about having a sculpture made of it and (presumably) showing it off to your friends just seems over the top to me. I can't put my finger on it, maybe someone else who shares my sentiment can articulate it better. It's not something I feel I would ever want to have though, that's for sure. Can anybody shed light on why this might be a desirable thing for someone to do?
posted by Scientist at 8:54 AM on August 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


What's with the fetishization of fetuses that's been going on over the last few years? Is this something that's been a long-standing phenomenon but has just recently come to my attention, or is this degree of fetus fixation actually a new thing?

I wouldn't call it "fetishization." It's only recently (the last 30 years maybe?) that we've been able to see our unborn children on ultrasound as a matter of course. Not to mention 3D ultrasound, which is far more recently available to the public and allows you to see pretty much exactly what your kid looks like before he or she is born.
posted by amro at 9:00 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


My parents got a 3D model of a fetus. But their's grew.
posted by munchingzombie at 9:04 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ya know, they put those thing in an opaque wrapper till they ripen for a reason and that's because THEY LOOK FUCKING SQUICK-WEIRD UNRIPE!

Hell, freshly delivered they still look creepy. They need a sponge & some fresh-air seasoning before they look human.

Prediction: peoole who have these things will be the worst kind of helicopter parents, and their kids will be raised like veal
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:04 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


breedering people's

What, mammals?
posted by mippy at 9:07 AM on August 8, 2012


fetushization.
posted by elizardbits at 9:07 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


So we recently had a kid, our first. Never been a fan of kids, in fact, I've actively disliked them.

But I was convinced by my lovely wife, ValkoSipuliSuola that we should have a go at it.

So we did, and I got to go to many ultrasounds.

The first few weren't much, just making sure everything was still there. But then there was the 19 week one. This took a looooong time. Sitting around in a very very warm room while they took pictures and measured everything. I'll be honest, I was bored. I mean, it's interesting that they can mush around and get pictures of something inside my wife, but also I was a little concerned that they kept pressing on her were gonna squish his brain.

Anyhoo, after a few hours of mushing around and taking pictures, the nurse person left the room. My wife asked "What do you think?"

My response-
"He looks fat"

"Also, he's sorta creepy looking"

Fortunately she was tied down so she couldn't attack me (not really, more realistically is that she has a very very good sense of humor and found it funny).

Either way, I don't think I would ever want a 3d model of the little dude when he was in utero. At his best he looked liked someone from the hills have eyes. At his worst, mush monster galore.
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:07 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyway, I know people say all babies look the same - and to me they do - but surely by definition all foetuses (foeti?) look the same?

I think this is really cool in principle, but I'm not sure what you'd do with it. A paperweight in an office where nobody's had a termination or miscarriage?
posted by mippy at 9:09 AM on August 8, 2012


Can they make these into squishy toys whose eyes pop out when you squeeze them?
posted by mazola at 9:10 AM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Nebraska legislature is at this moment drafting a bill requiring pregnant women to hold and cuddle one of these before having an abortion.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:10 AM on August 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


I wouldn't call it "fetishization.

Fetish:
1. An object that is believed to have magical or spiritual powers, especially such an object associated with animistic or shamanistic religious practices.
2. An object of unreasonably excessive attention or reverence: made a fetish of punctuality.
3. Something, such as a material object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.
4. An abnormally obsessive preoccupation or attachment; a fixation.
3 out of 4 says "Fetishization" to me.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:13 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: I thought the tail was supposed to be vestigial
posted by gimonca at 9:19 AM on August 8, 2012


would make one hell of a snowglobe
posted by MysticMCJ at 9:21 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only thing good about this is the phrase "your own inaction figure".

"Inaction" figure? You, sir, have obviously never been pregnant.
posted by sour cream at 9:22 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or you could put over a thousand dollars into a college account for your kid. But novelty keychains are fun too!
posted by hermitosis at 9:22 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


mippy: " A paperweight in an office where nobody's had a termination or miscarriage?"

For whatever it's worth, once a person has been through either, reminders of what we have lost are ever-present and unavoidable in our baby-obsessed culture.

But yeah, I would be really hesitant to give this as a gift to anyone who was pregnant, even though deaths in the third trimester, during or immediately after childbirth are so uncommon. Because they do happen. :(
posted by zarq at 9:22 AM on August 8, 2012


my brain is shouting "weird!", my hormones are shouting "YES!"

This happened to me a lot back in college.
posted by infini at 9:27 AM on August 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm boggled. My 3D ultrasound was among the most disturbing things I've ever seen. The ultrasound tech said "Aw, what a cute baby" but I was struck dumb with horror. Facial features don't look so good when you submerge them in fluid and mash them up against the side of a bag.
posted by Go Banana at 9:27 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always thought it'd be awesome to get a 3D model of my own skull. It'd be incredible to be able to hold a copy of what's in my head, holding my brain in place. Apparently it's doable from a CT scan...
posted by themadthinker at 9:28 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can anybody shed light on why this might be a desirable thing for someone to do?

Parents can get super-documentary about their children. They take endless photos and videos, knowing that childhood is fleeting. This probably appeals to the same sense. You can preserve your two-year-old in birthday photos, your five-year-old in school pictures, etc., but a sonogram doesn't really have the same appeal.

Along comes this company offering a way to preserve this whole portion of your child's life that you thought couldn't be preserved. Looking at the sample, it's as aesthetic as this concept could possibly have been executed, I think: soft pink color, graceful curves. The company clearly tried to make it look baby-ish. And it's special, unique, customized. It's your child, your baby. Those nine months filled with wonder (minus all the myriad negatives we'd rather just forget) captured in a special-to-you memento.

I get why somebody would market this. Frankly, notwithstanding the racist comments that appeared on the original article and in this thread, I could see this selling well in America at a different price point.
posted by cribcage at 9:30 AM on August 8, 2012


Just because they look like really creepy alien monsters in vitro doesn't mean they stay that way. Case in point.

And no, I didn't kill him (Lord_Pall) or even throw anything at him, mostly because there was nothing in arms reach.
posted by ValkoSipuliSuola at 9:34 AM on August 8, 2012


Won't anyone think of the children? Can you imagine finding one of you as a baby when you grow up? The ick factor would be incalculable.

I'm still debating whether or not to keep my son's ultrasound photos. Does he really need to see what he looked like as a tadpole?
posted by Leezie at 9:37 AM on August 8, 2012


I was a pregnant person at the very beginning of the whole ultrasound thing. For my first child there was no printout with little arrows pointing at a blob which was a nose, or a blob which was a darling penis or vulva. I had one to make sure the fetus was viable, then managed to go 9 months and have a child without showing off a blurry picture of a pre- formed human to disinterested friends and family. My second child got a photograph when she was a 16 week old fetus during my amnio. I think I may still have it somewhere in a pile of papers.

I taught at an alternative school where pregnant 16 year olds would go to "Pregnancy Centers" to get their pg tests and all of the facilities did ultrasound pictures of the "baby" to encourage them to look at the embryo/fetus as a darling newborn and continue the pregnancy. They could get the pictures for free and they taped them onto notebook covers in a progression through blob and 3-D alien status.

There are very few medical reasons for women to have as many ultrasounds as they do, and even fewer for the 3-D ones.
posted by Isadorady at 9:37 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow -- my (younger) brother and sister both teased that they had complexes because their baby books were not as well documented as mine, pre-birth. (My mom was working part time -- and raising me -- by the time kids 2 and 3 came around.) I'd hate to think how they would have felt if my parents had only dropped $1275 on my fetus sculpture.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:41 AM on August 8, 2012


This would be a good thing to shake at your unruly teen: "You think you're hot shit now, but look at this thing! THIS WAS YOU!!!"
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 9:41 AM on August 8, 2012


Also, as I was reading the article, my 6-month old gestating fetus kicked me vigorously, which I will interpret to mean DO NOT DO THIS TO ME MOM.
posted by Leezie at 9:41 AM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's another thing -- my mom got this weird gift was like a little baby trophy with my name/birth weight/birthdate/time inscribed on it with a little brass baby on top of it. I found it horrifyingly embarrassing growing up. What are the kids that come from these fetuses going to think.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:51 AM on August 8, 2012


It's a brave new world, because for better or worse, anything that can be printed, will be printed.
posted by gwint at 9:51 AM on August 8, 2012


I'm sort of amazed that my FPP from 10 years ago still works: The Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo Project.
posted by gwint at 9:52 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


What happened to the paperless uterus?
posted by thelonius at 9:55 AM on August 8, 2012


I have two kids. I love them to bits and post pictures of them everywhere.

I might have been interested in something like this for our first kid - ultrasounds are hard to interpret, and when you're a first-time expecting parent there's this strange sense that your kid is both real and not-real. Ultrasounds are a bit like time travel, a way to make contact with your child when he or she is still in a state of potentiality, and so a lot of parents find them fascinating.

But not for over a thousand dollars. And with our second child, I had no interest in her ultrasounds beyond their diagnostic value. I guess I had a better appreciation for the fact that I'll be staring at her face and changing her diapers and getting her dressed and taking her to school and possibly paying her bail money for many, many years to come.
posted by xthlc at 9:58 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


composed of an opaque white fetus encased in the mother’s clear, colorless abdomen

Opaque fetus and colorless mother say all that need saying about this.
posted by 3.2.3 at 10:09 AM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I actually don't think this is a bad thing, though I could tell before clicking into the thread that most people here would think it was yucky. However, I should note that judging from my now 18-month old's ultrasounds, 3d ultrasound technology is not so great right now. We got some pics of a 3d model of him and it was clear that when they tried to determine the surface of his face from the data that some cubes had marched incorrectly.
posted by Jpfed at 10:15 AM on August 8, 2012


So can we do that "pose in the same position as the photos throughout the years" with this? I'd love 3D models of the kids at 1, 2, 15, 25 all scrunched up and in clear lucite all in a row.
posted by xingcat at 10:21 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


So can we do that "pose in the same position as the photos throughout the years" with this? I'd love 3D models of the kids at 1, 2, 15, 25 all scrunched up and in clear lucite all in a row.

You could make a classy lighted display, just like at the Museum of Science and Industry.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:30 AM on August 8, 2012


When I get preggie I want a blind obstetrician so she can put her hands up in my parts and touch the babyface and tell me if the baby is going to be beautiful. I am traditional that way.
posted by samofidelis at 10:35 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can they make these into squishy toys whose eyes pop out when you squeeze them?

I want mine to have the head crown when you squeeze it.
posted by romakimmy at 10:41 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


If only John Hurt could have had one of these in 1979, things might have ended so much differently for him.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 10:53 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always thought it'd be awesome to get a 3D model of my own skull. It'd be incredible to be able to hold a copy of what's in my head, holding my brain in place.

"Alas, poor me!"
posted by adamdschneider at 11:00 AM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whoah boy. This is so far over the line that it needs a passport and a visa.

My blessed parents, who had given up all hope of their line continuing past my generation, wnt NUTS when I sent them a printout of the 3D ultrasound. I can't even imagine putting something like this into their hands - it would be a social grenade.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:06 AM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


So in order to do this you need to have a CT scan or MRI done. There's that expense, plus the fun of finding an MRI tube large enough in diameter to accommodate the pregnant belly (they exist, but those tubes aren't exactly roomy yes?)

Then you have to hold still and hope the fetus does the same.

Then you have to worry about the RISK TO YOUR UNBORN CHILD, you morons. There's a worry about cavitation damage with ultrasound, a bigger worry about 3D ultrasound, an an electrical engineer I was just speaking with last week was asking about collaborating on a project aimed at determining MRI risks for pregnant women, because developmentally we have no ideas what the magnetic field exposure does to a fetus, and for the love of all that is holy those are pretty big magnets and all that energy you are pumping into the body has to go SOMEWHERE, doesn't it? The main worry right now is heat, and evidence suggests the heat absorption in a patient exposed to a clinical strength MRI field is not negligible.

Wait 9 months like people have been doing for millenia. Seriously.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:09 AM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Counterpoint: electrical engineers are dorks who wear white sneakers.
posted by samofidelis at 11:21 AM on August 8, 2012


I always thought it'd be awesome to get a 3D model of my own skull. It'd be incredible to be able to hold a copy of what's in my head, holding my brain in place. Apparently it's doable from a CT scan...
posted by themadthinker


I got a mouth guard at a dental appointment last year. They made plaster molds of my teeth and then fit the mouth guard around them while making it. When I went in to pick it up, they were going to throw the plaster molds away. I'm all, "Whatcha gonna do with those?" and then THEY LET ME TAKE THEM HOME.

I am still fascinated by them. These are my teeth and I can hold them in my hand. This is what the inside of my mouth looks like. Yep. Still fascinated by them.

So, there's the "oh, cute, my baby" thing, I suppose, but I can definitely understand the "DUDE. THIS IS INSIDE OF ME AND I CAN SEE IT AND HOLD IT IN MY HANDS." reaction, too.
posted by jillithd at 11:42 AM on August 8, 2012


How long until state legislatures in the USA pass laws requiring these as part of the pre-abortion counseling? The cost of course to be paid by the pregnant woman.
posted by beaning at 12:03 PM on August 8, 2012


GOOD JOB! Now combine it with Harvard's 3D action-figure printing to produce articulated fetus action figures! Dress them up with Barbie outfits for the girls and G.I. Joe camo and machine guns for the boys. Playtime has never been so much fun!
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:28 PM on August 8, 2012


Can I have a lifesize 3D model of my six-year-olds, so I can install glowing eyes and put them in their closets?
posted by davejay at 1:16 PM on August 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


The result is a scale reproduction of your unicorn baby...

What? That's how I read it at first.
posted by Foosnark at 2:14 PM on August 8, 2012


I don't care for babies, but I want a 3D model of my ribcage.
posted by clearlydemon at 2:49 PM on August 8, 2012


caution live frogs: "and for the love of all that is holy those are pretty big magnets and all that energy you are pumping into the body has to go SOMEWHERE, doesn't it"

Yes, as energy is wont to do, it turns into small amounts of waste heat.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:44 PM on August 8, 2012


Moreover, the energy in the bias field is not absorbed by the body; it just provides a quantization axis along which the magnetic dipoles of various nuclei will align. There is a very small amount of energy that will be absorbed as the body is introduced into the magnet and the torque on the nuclear magnetic dipoles causes the atom to rotate, but this is a pretty small effect. The NMR process involves the absorption of RF radiation and subsequent emission of the same, but we know what his does. 300 MHz or 1 GHz radiation is insufficiently energetic to cause electronic transitions. I don't even think there's any ro-vibrational stuff that really gets messed with (and that matters) on that energy scale.

When someone makes a we have no idea what could happen! kind of claim, the answer is often yes, we do.
posted by samofidelis at 5:20 PM on August 8, 2012


Can anybody shed light on why this might be a desirable thing for someone to do?
Parents can get super-documentary about their children. They take endless photos and videos, knowing that childhood is fleeting. This probably appeals to the same sense. You can preserve your two-year-old in birthday photos, your five-year-old in school pictures, etc., but a sonogram doesn't really have the same appeal.

Along comes this company offering a way to preserve this whole portion of your child's life that you thought couldn't be preserved. Looking at the sample, it's as aesthetic as this concept could possibly have been executed, I think: soft pink color, graceful curves. The company clearly tried to make it look baby-ish. And it's special, unique, customized. It's your child, your baby. Those nine months filled with wonder (minus all the myriad negatives we'd rather just forget) captured in a special-to-you memento.

I get why somebody would market this. Frankly, notwithstanding the racist comments that appeared on the original article and in this thread, I could see this selling well in America at a different price point.


Having a kid makes you insane.
posted by fullerine at 7:10 AM on August 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


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