Ultrasound, 3D printing combine to help blind parents feel their babies' faces

Clinicians at Johns Hopkins Hospital have combined the power of ultrasound imaging and three-dimensional printing to afford blind parents a key experience during pregnancy.

Seeing the image of their baby over ultrasound is a profound experience for most parents, and when Taylor Ellis, 26, a blind parent in Maryland, received a 3D-based model of her child’s face in the mail, she was “really emotional,” Ellis told the Washington Post. “I had never seen a 3D [image], and now, it’s your baby, and it’s, like, wow.”

The idea came about after a sonographer at the Baltimore institution questioned if the 3D ultrasound normally reserved for special diagnostic purposes could be used to create a 3D model for a blind mother.

According to the Post, the material costs around $1.40 and each print requires about 3.5 hours.

Read more about the inspiring technology below.