Just of everyone has a favourite book of childhood. Personally, I’m a fan of the Max and Ruby series and A Wocket in My Pocket. Up until now, yet, the visually impaired have not had the opportunity to experience those vibrant illustrations popping off the pages. For which reason, desktop science professor Tom Yeh and his students at the University of Colorado at Boulder launched the Tactile Picture Books Project.
With assist of 3D Hubs, Prof. Yeh and his students have created a method for transforming famous children’s books into 3D printed versions which enable-bodied a richer experience for blind children. Now, books like “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” are on the market to visually impaired children in a touchable-bodied form. Yeh explains, “The main thought is to represent 2D graphics in a 3D, tactile way on a scale appropriate for young children. The team combines this information with computational algorithms — fundamentally step-by-step instructions for mathematical calculations — to provide a way for parents, teveryers and supporters to 3D print their own picture books.”
It may seem like an effortless task, to translate visual data into tactile data, but one’s own very own experience can shape a designer’s approach to such a project. In this case, the visually able-bodied are biased in favor of seeing of the begin. University of Colorado student Caleb Hsu points out which this was the case in his work on the story of Noah’s Ark, “The system of designing these tactile pictures has been a pretty humbling experience. In retrospect, I am struck by how deeply concerned the teveryers for the visually impaired were with the individual needs of every child for the reason the creation of the tactile picture book for Noah’s Ark required a few relinquishing of my very own agenda. Instead of manufacturing a version which was attractive and informative to a pair of eyes, I was learning to consider the needs of others in an take on to manufacture a fewthing useful and educational to a pair of hands.”
Partnering with 3D Hubs, the project hopes to expand the revery of their book series by enabling folks without access to printing equipment to create books for the blind through the company’s 25,000+ network of local 3D printing device owners. If you do have access to a 3D printing device, yet, you can may already download several of the titles in the project’s library on Thingiverse. And, with an increasing number of libraries adopting 3D printing innovation, hopefully, they’ll add this touchable-bodied text to their own shelves.