How 3D printing can help the visually impaired

A yellow tactile model that displays one room with a table and several chairs
A yellow tactile model that displays one room with a table and several chairs

The only constant in this exciting world is constant change. And it seems this change is getting faster. Technical progress and innovation allow us to work globally and from everywhere. The possibility of working from home or on the road means enormous changes in the world of work, but also holds great potential to change it for the better. For many people, this means an opportunity to participate in working life.

But rapid change also means that some people fall by the wayside. Co-working spaces and temporary meeting rooms are part of everyday working life for many, as jet set workers still have conferences or just need a place to talk sometimes. For blind and visually impaired people however, it is difficult to rent conference venues. Rooms vary not only in size and equipment, but are offered with a variety of configurations that can only be communicated visually. Depending on the event, the number of participants or the intended use, the furnishing changes. Touch models, on the other hand, are practically cast in stone without their furniture, equipment and general appearance. Therefore, they always basically represent floor plans of buildings without interior fittings. Every building is merely a shell if you only know it from the tactile model. In the end, people with visual impairments can only rely on the judgement of sighted people when it comes to assessing rooms. …

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Sascha Collet

Project Manager, Designer and Member of Figures CC

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