The Most Horrifying Use Of 3D Printing

horrifying

As anyone with a Facebook account that’s over the age of 25 will tell you, 3D ultrasounds of fetuses are all the rage these days, with ultrasound pictures of the unborn recently taking the leap from black and white blobs to 3D – and 4D – images. With the advent of 3D printers, the inevitable has happened. Now you can order a 3D print of your yet-to-be-born progeny.

The company behind this – 3D Babies – takes 3D ultrasound data from weeks 24-32 and turns it into a 3D model. The printed 3D models sell for $800 for the full size version, $400 for a half-size version, and $200 for a quarter size version. It appears the 3D ultrasound data is simply wrapped around a pre-defined mesh, so while the resulting print may come out looking like your spawn, it’s still not a physical copy of the 3D/4D ultrasound data.

Despite the ‘creepy’ factor of these little bundles of plastic, we’re wondering why we haven’t seen anything like this before. Are there any obstetricians/radiologists/ultrasound techs out there that have experience with importing 3D ultrasound data into an editor of some sort? Notwithstanding any HIPAA violations, it seems it would be rather easy to turn this sort of 3D data into a printed object. 3D printing CT scans models can’t be the only other instance of this type of thing.

Thanks [Will] for the nightmares

Tearing down an ultrasound machine from 1963

hehsiemens

Vintage electronics are awesome, and old medical devices doubly so. When [Murtaugh] got his hands on an old ultrasound machine, he knew he had to tear it apart. Even if he wasn’t able to bring it back to a functional state, the components inside make for great history lesson fifty years after being manufactured.

This very primitive ultrasound machine was sold by Siemens beginning in 1963 as a, “diagnostic ultrasound unit for the quick evaluation of cerebral hemorrhage after accidents.” This is barely into the era of transistors and judging from [Murtaugh]’s teardown, nearly the entire device is made of vacuum tubes, capacitors, and resistors.┬áThe only solid state component in this piece of equipment is a bridge rectifier found in the power supply. Impressive stuff, even today.

In the end, [Murtaugh] decided this device wasn’t worth repairing. There were cracks all the way through a PCB, and he didn’t have any of the strange proprietary accessories anyway. Still, this junkyard score netted [Murtaugh] a bunch of old tubes and other components, as well as a nifty CRT that came with a wonderful ‘Made in West Germany’ label,.