3D Printing Braille projects

If someone asks me which one is the project that I liked the most since I started 3D printing, I’ll stick with the different 3D prints I have done for Adam, a teacher of students with vision impairment.

Braille Periodic Table (model from Thingiverse)

The first time he contacted me on 3D Hubs he ordered the models of three constellations: Gemini, Hercules, and Orion. I thought it was just for fun or for use as a decoration, but the day he came to pick the order up I took the opportunity to ask. He was going to include them in a book for children with vision impairment. It was a funny coincidence that a few days earlier I had read about a similar project: “Tactile Picture Books Project” in fastcodesign.com, in which a team of researchers and students from the University of Colorado were developing software for 3D design and printing of books. Samples of their work can be downloaded from Thingiverse, and in collaboration with 3D Hubs, one of the students, Caleb Hsu, has developed a 3D version of Noah’s Ark. Get the 3D tactile pictures here.

Noah’s Ark Tactile Picture Book (Image 3D Hubs)

After that first project with Adam, two more came. A cutaway Earth 3D model with Braille labels to be used at Seeing Beyond The Horizon 2016 Conference; and a Braille Periodic Table with the relative height of each element representing its density. It’s really cool to print these models, and I have to admit that I would love to keep them for me!

Earth Cutaway with Braille labels (model from Thingiverse)

I think this is a good example of how 3D printing could help people, creating accessible tools to everyone. You just need to download a model and get it printed. Doing some more research about 3D printing and Braille, I found this software from Lumi Industries. A simple text to Braille converter: The program will translate your text into braille language creating the 3D model of a solid label as a .stl file. A great educational support for parents, teachers, educators of visually impaired kids and adults. You can download the software for free on the following link: Text to 3D Braille Converter

The Braille Periodic Table 3D model from Thingiverse and the Earth Cutaway are both printed on a Lulzbot Mini at 100 microns resolution.

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