Incredible: Pregnant mothers may soon be able to hold their unborn babies, as old technologies are ingeniously adapted in order to breathe a renewed hope into new life:
"The technology takes data from data from ultrasound, CT and MRI scans, converts them into virtual 3D models, which can then be 'printed' as a plastic representation of the developing baby.
Jorge Lopes, a Brazilian designer, developed the ground-breaking technique for his PhD at London's Royal College of Art.
Rapid prototyping essentially collects data about the subject and lays down successive layers of material, in this case plastic powder, and in this way builds up the model from a series of cross sections.
"It's amazing to see the faces of the mothers. They can see the full scale of their baby, really understand the size of it," said Dr Lopes.
Some applications for the method, called rapid prototyping, could be to allow blind mothers to bond with their babies or aid case management of foetal malformation.
"For doctors this is a fantastic development and it is absolutely unique," said Stuart Campbell, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at King's College London. He hopes the technology can be used as an educational tool for expectant parents and to help mothers who have difficulty bonding with their babies.