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The Creepiest Use of a 3D Printer…Yet?

Technology fascinates me and I find that there is always something new that has popped up with the potential to make life so much easier.

Sometimes though, technology makes me scratch my head and wonder why on Earth anyone would have even come up with such an invention or idea. REP2_PRESS_15x10_low14

One of my favorite technological innovations is the 3D printer and while I have not actually used one, I’ve spent countless hours either thinking about what one could be used for and have found certain websites where you can order items they print for you. Those websites were of particular interest to me during the Christmas shopping season, as I had no clue what to get for several people on my list and thought they might enjoy the novelty of a 3D printed gift. In the end, discovering that these companies were backlogged and gifts wouldn’t arrive in time I wound up making other gift decisions.

Some of the things I found were pretty cool, such as a set of chess pieces that were also mini planters (I’m guessing for herbs?), and I’ve continued to be impressed with what people have created with this technology.

Until today.

Enter the article I read today about the newest use of 3D printers: Printing unborn babies. 

Yep, that’s right, printing what your unborn baby looks like in utero. Not creepy at all, right?

With all of the gadgets I’ve discovered thanks to friends having babies and needing to buy shower presents, it only makes sense that the next logical step to being an expectant parent is that you should have a perfect idea of what the little bundle of joy looks like prior to birth.

I suppose it could be useful in determining which parent the baby looks like more, but isn’t that part of the surprise when they finally enter the world? When visiting my cousin’s daughter last summer, it was really fun sitting in the hospital room and trying to decide which features the baby inherited from her mom and dad, but I wonder how different that experience would have been if they had participated in making a 3D replica of Miss Maggie beforehand.

Not being a parent might make me unable to actually sound off on this new idea with any credibility, as I’ve never been faced with the challenge of trying to interpret a grainy ultrasound picture (ones that are so often printed and then shared with their closest friends and family… or you know, the entirety of Facebook if profile settings aren’t adjusted), and the 3D baby is definitely easy to view and have a good idea of what the kiddo looks like.

I’m curious to hear if any equally creepy 3D printing ideas exist (maybe you have one that’s even more out there than this), and also for parents (or non-parents too, because all opinions are welcome here), would you want one of these? (If yes, the company website can be found here.)

Responses (2)

  1. “Oh my gosh … I had no idea THAT’s what a baby looks like!”

    Equally creepy? I’m sure there’s going to be a Steve Carrell movie on some similar topic (“Do-It-Yourself-Surgery practice torso”,”Sex Ed for Folks who missed it the first time around”). I could see it being used for creating death masks – the wax masks that are placed over the faces of the incorruptibles – those folks whose bodies have yet to decay, often taken as a sign of great blessing and sainthood. The scanning imagery would give a remarkably accurate mask and with much less labor.

    Interesting story last year was about a project to build a handgun with a 3D printer – it wouldn’t work, the firing pin always melted (okay, so it would work once). The group had a company lend them the printer, but once it found out they had successfully built a gun the company demanded the printer back.

    • Katy says:

      Oh, wow! I can definitely picture those kinds of movies being made now that you’ve put the idea in my head…I’ll have to make a note to NOT see them if it really happens. 🙂

      I remember reading about the 3D printed gun attempts, but didn’t realize any were “successful.” I really like the idea of using the technology available to create new and interesting things that might not be possible using other methods due to the shape or details, but for some stuff, just because the tech exists doesn’t mean we should actually use it.

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