3D printing has made navigating a world of vague light forms or, oftentimes, complete darkness more manageable. 3D printed Braille books, some of which include raised imagery as with story and school books, have been created for severely visually-impaired children.
3D printed models that serve as illustrations for books for the blind include portrait busts that stand in for photographic portraits and architectural models. Astronomers in Baltimore, Maryland at the Space Telescope Science Institute are working on technology that will help them convert images from the Hubble Telescope into 3D, tactile graphics for those who cannot “explore celestial wonders by sight.” New developments in tactile graphics are happening rapidly, and Japan is on the leading edge in this regard.
Now, cartographic authorities in Japan announced that they are in the process of developing software with data that users can download from the internet and then, with the use of a 3D printer, produce their own, inexpensive “tactile maps…of different parts of the country.” … (Read more)