Brazilian Research Student Specializes in Fetus Prototyping

Research student Jorge Ribeiro Lopes dos Santos has been working with a paediatric cardiologist at Imperial College because he has found a way of using rapid prototyping technology to scan fetuses and produce models as teaching tools for doctors.

The Brazilian design graduate has developed a way of making physical models of fetuses using data from ultrasound, CT and MRI scans. He developed the project in collaboration with a paediatric cardiologist at Imperial College while studying on the Design Products MA course at London’s Royal College of Art.

Jorge Lopes Dos Santos hopes the models, which are made using 3D printing techniques, can be used to train doctors and to help with emotional support for parents whose child may be born with deformities.

“The technology can be also be used as an emotional tool for parents whose fetus might be deformed or need treatment,” said Hilary French, who heads the School of Architecture and Design Products.

Lopes dos Santos, who is sponsored at the college by the Brazilian government, had begun his research in a relatively pedestrian way, looking at how model-making had been used in practical ways over the centuries, French said.

Lopes dos Santos’s work uses the latest computer techniques first exhibited by Ron Arad at an exhibition at the V&A at the turn of the century entitled Not Made By Hand, Not Made in China.

“Something that staff and students are doing is working with cutting-edge technology, digital technology, 3D printing,” French said.

“In the same way that computers have changed design practice, the three dimensional rapid prototype manufacture means you can infinitely customize something.

Credit Sources: DeZeen Magazine |

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