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Recently, ABVI received a 3D printer. We are grateful to the Kilian J. and Caroline F. Schmitt Foundation, which gave funding for it.

A 3D printer gives people who are blind or visually impaired the opportunity to “see” their world in a brand new way. Things that are completely visual can be turned into something that can be touched, allowing the person the ability to more fully interact with the 2D world.

How it works:

  • A design for an object is created using computer software
  • The design and instructions are sent to the 3D printer
  • The printer melts plastic filament and layers it to create the object

One of the first things we printed as a test was a not-to-scale version of our office’s layout. The larger version will assist with orienting individuals with vision loss to this space. Additionally, this type of print out makes items that are two-dimensional, like a fire escape plan, tactile.