Tears of joy: 3D printing lets blind mom-to-be 'see' her son

Combining ultrasound and 3D-printing technologies leads to a wondrous moment for an expectant Brazilian mom.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
2 min read

Blind mom Tatiana Guerra, "sees" her son Murilo for the first time thanks to 3D printing. Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET

Without doubt, one of the most exciting and emotional events for parents about to have a child is getting to see their little tyke through an ultrasound. But blind moms-to-be get cheated from experiencing this marvelous moment.

Now an advertising campaign (of all things) from diaper company Huggies Brazil shows that there's a way to let even expectant parents who have no sight "see" their unborn child.

Working with ad agency Mood, the company created a short film (see below) in which blind expectant mom Tatiana Guerra is given a 3D-printed version of her son's face along with the words "I am your son," spelled out in braille. The moment is as moving as it sounds and I dare you not to get at least a little teary-eyed as you watch it. (Jump to 1:20 if you want to skip the fluffy stuff at the beginning.)

The 30-year-old Guerra, who lost her sight when she was 17, was 20 weeks pregnant at the time of the exam.

The film, entitled "Huggies Presents: Meeting Murilo," is part of an ad campaign from Huggies Brazil that's using the tagline: "Every mom deserves to embrace each moment." It also includes this video of another blind mom-to-be getting to touch a 3D-printed version of her unborn daughter's face.

According to 3DPrint.com, the 3D printing was handled by the digital design folks at The Goodfellas while photographers Lucas Tintori, Rodrigo Westphal Galego, and Fábio Kenji captured the entire thing on film.

As we reported last year, a company called 3D Babies is now offering parents the chance to get 3D-printed replicas of their unborn fetuses, so the technology used in the video isn't brand-new. But it certainly shows a poignant way to put it to use, don't you think?