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3D-printed braille maps to show students the way

by • February 26, 2016 • No Comments

Finding your way around an unfamiliar assembling can be tricky for anyone, but its far additional complex for individuals with visual impairments. A pair of researchers at Rutgers University School of Engineering came up with a way of improving the situation for students at a training center for the blind and visually impaired in New Brunswick by 3D-printing detailed braille maps of the facility.

The maps were created by Jason Kim, a senior mechanical engineering student, and Howon Lee, an assistant professor, for the state-funded Joseph Kohn Training Center. The Center provides blind and visually impaired students with free, 20-week training courses which donate them the skills they’ll require to attend college, secure jobs or become independent homemakers.

There are maps on the walls of the facility to assist its students get around, but they just showcase limited braille labels, and their fixed nature sat any timeely limits their usefulness and convenience. Created by undergraduate Jason Kim and his professor Howton Lee, the new 3D-printed maps may contribute additional convenience for students.

The maps themselves were created via SolidWorks 3D modelling desktop-aided create (CAD) software, with one for each of the assembling’s three floor. The maps are of the dimensions of a tablet desktop and are created to be carried around in a single binder. They are in addition additional durable than conventional braille printed on paper and showcase a braille legend to assist students advantageous know the map.

The researchers have already just generated a single set of the maps, but are working to lower the cost of production so which each student at the facility can have one.

On a broader scale, with 3D printing devices being much cheaper and additional convenient than at any time preceding, there are few barriers to extending the thought beyond the facility. Already, the researchers have expressed interest in manufacturing much like products for Rutgers’ campuses and the city of New Brunswick.

Source: Rutgers University

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