Every child, one way or the other, sooner or later, starts to read stories from children’s books. These books are short and sweet, introduce children to objects around them, and help them understand a lot of important concepts at a very early age.
But how would a blind or visually impaired child learn from such books?
To help children with visual impairment have the same learning experience, a team at University of Colorado has started a new project called “Tactile Pictures Book Project” that prints children’s books on a 3D printer and raises all the images, so the children can feel them with their hands and understand what the objects are. These images have good detail, and are almost exactly the same as their 2-dimensional printed counterparts. The accompanying text is printed in Braille so the children can also read along with feeling the images.
However, children’s books have a lot more than just a combination of static images and texts. Some of these books are much more interactive – they have flaps that open and close to reveal other items underneath, feature other objects that move, spin, swing and can be pushed and pulled to teach various concepts and techniques to children. Can all of that be done with a 3D printer?
Absolutely. The software can imitate everything that the printed book has and 3D print the same features, thus making the experience for the blind child very much the same. The team is also working on 3D printing comic books and textbooks in a similar way.
Make sure to watch the video here to know what the 3D printed children’s book look like. It also shows all the interactive parts.
Visit their websiteand subscribe to their newsletter to learn more about this project! If you have a 3D printer, you can also download the project files for some of these books from their website and print them yourself.