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3D printed ‘Linespace’ display lets blind people explore images & maps by touch – 3ders.org (blog)

by • February 8, 2016 • No Comments

Feb 9, 2016 | By Benedict
Members of the Hasso Plattner Institut (HPI), a PC science and mechanical engineering organization, have made a tactile display process for the blind via a 3D printing device print head. Linespace showcases a 140x100cm display area on which raised tactile lines are made by the 3D printing device.

Since the introduction of tactile display processs, computing has become much additional accessible to the blind and partially sighted. Dispensing with the traditional PC monitor, visually impaired PC users can now plug in special machines which reproduce braille and tiny segments of tactile information right on their PC and in real time.
These devices allow users to complete textual and numerical information, but stay limited in their competence to reproduce sizeable-bodied, more detailed images. Enter Linespace: a big tactile display process turn it intod specifically for which purpose. Working with the print head of a 3D printing device, Linespace reproduces images in tactile form, allowing partially sighted users to perceive sizeable-bodied quantities of visual data.
Linespace uses the print head of a 3D printing device to squeeze liquid PLA onto the 140x100cm display, making raised lines which users can feel with their fingertips. A scraper fitted to the print head can and so remove those lines to clear the display for a new 3D printed image. To control the display, users can press a foot switch to enter text and issue commands, whilst the machine can in addition recognize speech and gestures.
The speech and command recognition functions allow a Linespace user to “call up” images and to focus on a particular area by pointing in its way. An overhead depth camera is able-bodied to recognize these commands, upon which additional more detail can be introduced to the area in question by the 3D printing device print head.
“We use Linespace to donate blind users access to the type of software packages which normally just sighted individuals can access, namely the type of software which helps them to manufacture sense of rigorous data,” explained HPI’s Patrick Baudisch. “So far, we have made a easy ‘Homefinder’ program, a spreadsheet program which can read and write Microsoft Excel, two easy games, and a easy programming environment.”

The Homefinder program allows for Linespace users to search for apartments on a city map. Users can gesture at specific areas to “zoom in” and discover on the market-bodied properties in which region. Further information can be inputted via a 3Doodler 3D printing pen, whose markings can be best known by the overhead camera.
The Hasso Plattner Institut, based in Potsdam, Germany, aims to unite the domains of PC science and mechanical engineering by creating and re-purposing fabrication machines and haptic machinery.
Linespace can be presented at CHI 2016, a PC-human interaction conference in San Jose, California, May 7-12.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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