An innovative Braille alphabet teaching tool for visually impaired individuals based on advanced tactile embossed 3D graphics
In this paper, tactile tiles for teaching Braille alphabet were created using three different 3D printing techniques. Aim of this work, based on research with visually impaired individuals, is to provide educators with a new and better way of teaching the Braille alphabet with a complete 3D printed set of alphabet tiles. Recent developments in 3D printing technology enable researchers to experiment with new approaches towards the creation of new tools for teaching the Braille alphabet. It is important to examine the Braille lettering standards, capabilities of 3D printers and, in cooperation with experts who work with the visually impaired, discuss the design and functionality of the created tiles. In this research, a set of 3D printed tiles has been created, each divided into three main parts. The first part of the tile shows a basic Braille letter. This is followed by a corresponding embossed model of an object that correlates to the first letter of the word. The third section consists of the entire word corresponding to the embossed model at the bottom of the tile in Braille writing. Tiles are standardized by size and part position for corresponding letters of the alphabet and words describing the embossed model. These tiles are intended to serve as a supplemental educational tool that relies on the sense of touch as a way for the visually impaired individuals to more easily connect their own perception of familiar objects from their surroundings to words and letters. Several iterations of tiles have been printed with multiple 3D printers, with the purpose of determining optimal settings required for producing the best possible product prototype.
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