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3D images help blind couples understand their baby’s face

New technology allows blind couples to feel their baby

SHARE 3D images help blind couples understand their baby’s face
This undated photo provided by Natural Machines on Feb. 5, 2015 shows a Foodini food printer in a professional kitchen. Like more traditional 3-D printers, food printers work by printing out successive layers of edible material.

This undated photo provided by Natural Machines on Feb. 5, 2015, shows a Foodini food printer in a professional kitchen. Like more traditional 3-D printers, food printers work by printing out successive layers of edible material.

Natural Machines, Associated Press

Blind couples now have the ability to learn about their baby’s face thanks to 3D images, which can be used to generate a face with their baby’s likeness.

Several years back, Johns Hopkins decided to use 3D printing to receive clear images of spines for babies who might need surgery for spina bifida, according to The Washington Post. In the past, surgeons would open the spine to perform the surgery. But a new procedure allowed surgeons to use a 3D model of the baby to practice everything ahead of time, making the actual surgery less risky.

Researchers took that idea and implemented into creating 3D models for blind parents. It creates a printout with the likeness of the baby, giving blind couples a chance to feel how their baby looks and get a good idea, The Washington Post reports.

Johns Hopkins is reportedly the only hospital offering the experience right now.

Melissa Riccobono, president of the Maryland Parents of Blind Children, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, told The Washington Post this new technology is a great idea for blind parents.

“For families, instead of having to show them a picture of an ultrasound, how cool it would be for them to get their hands on it, what the baby is like now,” she said.

“We really miss the opportunity to use our other senses,” she said. “More than blind people would enjoy that.”

According toForbes, 3D printing has been used to show blind people other items, too, like art.

“3D printing is even being used to give blind art lovers the ability to appreciate classic paintings, by turning those paintings into 3D printed sculptures,” according to Forbes.