Why 3D printing your unborn fetus is a bad idea

Why 3D printing your unborn fetus is a bad idea

If you happen to be reading this while swimming in your platinum bath tub filled with gold doubloons (and you are pregnant with a baby friend) (and you are EXTREMELY IMPATIENT to hold that baby) (and you want a terrible gift for your mother-in-law) listen up because the scope of Things That Can Be Seen And Heard is officially tapped with an exciting new product just for you. 3D fetus printing!

From their website:

We use your 3D/4D ultrasound images or newborn baby pictures to create a unique artistic representation of your baby using the latest computer graphics and 3D printing technology.

Yes you may, for $600 measly bucks, order a life-size resin replica of the baby you have not yet given birth to. A doll!  A $600 dollar doll that looks like a stillborn version of your baby whom you're hoping is born alive.

I'll pause.

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They certainly look happy for folks who are about to have some very unflattering pictures posted to Facebook.


This combines two things that are great in theory. On the technology end, 3D printing is very useful for the creation of refrigerator parts and homemade ammo. Yay, you. On the emotional end, parents love gazing at ultrasound photos that have become ever-more realistic and creepy. I knew my last baby had her dad's cheeks and my chin three months before she was born. Delightful!

However combining 3D printing capabilities and ultrasounds is like combining, say, the ingenuity of staplers and the joy of a home-cooked meal. Stapling your appetizers together is not a good idearr. There are more efficient ways to kill your dinner guests.

Other problems:

- Attachment. Let's say you get the doll and become super attached to it ala Lars And The Real Girl. You dress it up for months and push it in a baby carriage like a psycho, then the real baby comes along and it's like, I have no time for this fleshy imposter! Well. It could happen. By then your stroller tires have been worn treadbare and all of your friends are like, "wait, I thought you had that baby already". Awkward, no? Step away from the doll, people.

- Expectation. When I was pregnant with my first and just had access to the old school grainy ultrasounds from the stone ages (2008) I was convinced she had black hair, olive skin and that she'd be 10 pounds. When they handed me a scrawny baby with no eyebrows and an equally missing tan I was like, "DAMN THAT MAILMAN" . No. I was like, "woah, I thought I was having a Greek baby?" and I'll admit, it took me a little bit to get used to her. Imagine if I picked "brown" for the skin tone of the doll and the grainy nuance in ultrasound face differed from reality. Here I would have spent $600 on a stranger baby to sit on the mantel. I suppose there are other uses for a 3D resin fetus. Christmas ornament? Paper weight? Super rude and scary halloween decor?

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Gratuitous pic of me and the baby who rejected all her father's genes.


- The doll arrives in a coffin. Not to be the Ask Jeeves of dead babies, but this is not something you want to see unless you have to.

- It doesn't even make a great memento. What, so now you have a life size resin cast of the fetus, are you going to keep that up with every stage of the baby's life? Instead of taking those month-by-month photos, you're going to keep body casting your kid until you have a whole army like the Terracotta Warriors? I know suburban homes are big, but you're going to need a storage unit.

The only upside I can see to having a 3D replica of your fetus in your arms is you'll have the most awkward family photo opportunity. Congrats, weirdo!

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