3D Printing Took a Giant Leap for Blind People


"While sight is not a prerequisite for success, equal access to information is.”

3DPhotoWorks LLC together with the help from the National Federation of the Blind had made an incredible announcement which would make the blind people happy. They have discovered a 3D printing process that will enable the blind to see images such as fine arts and diagrams. This process was patented recently. It is able to convert any conventional painting, drawing, collage or photograph into 3D Tactile Fine Art Print. The Prints come completely with length, width, depth, and texture and are available in sizes up to 60" x 120".

The company was inspired by Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita of the University of Wisconsin who had used 3D tactile printing as a base concept of neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. Bach-y-Rita's research within the blind community, he concluded that our brain is able to use tactile information coming from the fingertips as if it were coming from the eyes. That's because we don't see with our eyes or hear with our ears, these are just the receptors, seeing and hearing in fact goes on in the brain."

Through the use of their fingertips, the blind can feel the 3D Tactile Fine Art Prints through tactile feedback. This feedback serves as the creator of a mental image that enables the blind to "see" the art, mostly for the first time. To help in creating a further “mental picture," there are sensors which are embedded throughout the prints that once touched will activate the custom audio that describes what is transpiring at that exact coordinate.

This amazing technology took seven years to be completed. The company has devoted such time with the strong objective of bringing art and photography closer to blind people. From museums, science centres and research institution all over America, the company plan to take the technology worldwide.

 Based on the story 3D Printing Creates Major Breakthrough for Blind People by PRNewswire