3-D Printed Storybooks for the Visually Impaired

If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.

by Maru Pabón

Researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, have created the Tactile Picture Books Project, a series of 3-D printed books that go beyond the possibilities of braille. Propelled by the increasing accessibility of this technology, the team at Boulder has transformed the classic images of Goodnight Moon and Harold and the Purple Crayon into tactile forms. These 3-D printed figures, which emerge from the page in the shape of objects within the text, are meant to guide visually impaired children through the stories’ landscapes, allowing them to feel the representations they cannot see.

The Tactile Picture Books Project’s mission statement reads: “One day, every household will have a 3D printer to make tactile picture books for children to touch and enjoy at home.” Though there’s a long way to go before that happens, you can learn more about how to contribute to the project here.

IMG_2095-570x320
IMG_2089-570x320
IMG_2093-570x320
IMG_2091-570x320
0052_TomYeh_140520-570x320
0025_TomYeh_140520-570x320
0016_TomYeh_140520-570x320
0043_TomYeh_140520-570x320
0043_TomYeh_140520-570x320

2D graphics in a 3D, tactile way on a scale appropriate for the cognitive abilities and interests of young children — See more at: http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/06/23/picture-books-visually-impaired-kids-go-3d-thanks-cu-boulder-research-team#sthash.gCCBDO8Q.dpuf

represent 2D graphics in a 3D, tactile way on a scale appropriate for the cognitive abilities and interests of young children — See more at: http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/06/23/picture-books-visually-impaired-kids-go-3d-thanks-cu-boulder-research-team#sthash.gCCBDO8Q.dpuf

represent 2D graphics in a 3D, tactile way on a scale appropriate for the cognitive abilities and interests of young children — See more at: http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/06/23/picture-books-visually-impaired-kids-go-3d-thanks-cu-boulder-research-team#sthash.gCCBDO8Q.dpuf

represent 2D graphics in a 3D, tactile way on a scale appropriate for the cognitive abilities and interests of young children — See more at: http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/06/23/picture-books-visually-impaired-kids-go-3d-thanks-cu-boulder-research-team#sthash.gCCBDO8Q.dpuf

More Like This

7 Emerging Literary Translators Whose Work You Should Read

On the politics of translation, code-switching, ownership of language, and more

Jul 29 - J.R. Ramakrishnan

As My Vision Deteriorates, Every Word Counts

How losing my eyesight changed how and what I enjoy reading

Jul 29 - Alice Mattison

Why Wedding Rings and Hotel Hookups Don’t Mix

"The Ring" by Pedro Mairal, translated and recommended by Jennifer Croft

Jul 28 - Pedro Mairal
Thank You!