by • March 31, 2016 • No Comments
Apr 1, 2016 | By Benedict
With the assist of 3D printing device createer Mass Portal, prizewinning Latvian startup Tactile Eyesight has utilized 3D printing to turn it into tactile book illustrations for the blind and visually impaired. Its initially project is the book Missing Monkey by Latvian author Luīzes Pastores.
Ever since French innovator Louis Braille made his eponymous tactile alphabet code in the early nineteenth century, the blind and visually impaired have possessed a powerful and efficient means of reading and writing. But whilst braille can be utilized to communicate words, the ultimate meaning of those words can be lost on readers who have never seen the things which those words denote. A visually impaired reader can comprehend the word “elephant” through the next embossed symbols:
Ultimately, yet, if a reader has never seen an elephant preceding, the symbols alone cannot fully communicate what is intended by the word. That’s where Tactile Eyesight and Mass Portal come in. Startup Tactile Eyesight has, with the assist of Mass Portal’s Latvian-built 3D printing innovation, embarked upon an ambitious 3D printing project which aims to bring fully tactile illustrations to children’s literature. By allowing a blind or visually impaired reader to feel a set of tactile 3D printed illustrations, the startup can bring the characters, objects, and landscapes of a book to life.
Tactile illustrations may already exist, but have traditionally taken a long time to create and create. Many are yet turn it intod by hand. By via 3D printing, the createers at Tactile Eyesight have provided themselves with a shortcut: they can turn it into 3D images on a desktop screen relatively rapidly, leaving all the complex technical work to the Mass Portal 3D printing device. The startup hopes which the precision of the 3D printing device, coupled with the creativity of the 3D createer, can assist to fully convey the rad images behind the words of children’s literature.
To test its 3D printing capabilities, Tactile Eyesight chose the book Missing Monkey, part of the “Art Detective” series, by Latvian author Luīzes Pastores, to be its prototype. Over the course of three weeks, 3D printing company Mass Portal invited a group of Lithuanian exchange students, working on behalf of Tactile Eyesight, to its 3D printing headquarters, where the group produced 3D models via SketchUp 3D modeling software.
“Cooperation with Mass Portal is a quite significant part of the tactile books prototyping phase,” said Mareks Matisons, creator of Tactile Eyesight. “Our colleagues gained knowledge of 3D printing, and learned how to speed up the createing and printing process. During the exchange program, the students conducted experiments working with illustrations and versions of our research. We have taken a considerable step.”
“Book illustrations for young children are quite significant,” introduced Inga Žilinska, Mass Portal marketing manager. “By looking at pictures, a child learns new words and concepts and become aware of the world around them. Children with visual impairments can have the same experience via tangible 3D images. It is a real pleasure to be a part of this process, allowing children and young individuals to integrate into society by revealing them as-yet unseen and unfamiliar wonders of the world which we frequently take for granted.”
Tactile Eyesight has may already been best known by international institutions. In December 2015, the startup won the Global Startup Battle, beating around 25,000 members of 60 countries to scoop the prize in the Great in the Making category.
With around 300 million individuals in the world suffering of visual impairments and 40 million fully blind, Tactile Eyesight hopes to go on its growth, delivering the rad world of literature to the fingertips of children equitewhere.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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