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Blind girl creates campus map for the visually impaired

Shared by AnaIsabel on 2016-08-11 01:20

About the solution

Kaitlyn lost eyesight in her left eye as a baby and, in 2014, she lost eyesight in her right eye as well, leaving her completely blind. Because she wants to be more independent, she teamed up with Tyler, and engineering student who had the ideia for this solution while taking a 3D printing course in 2015.

Since they’ve teamed up, Kaitlyn has given insight, tested, and provided feedback about how the maps should be designed and feel. According to the the student, the project has given her more freedom and has made all the difference in helping her to navigate around her university.

“When I lost my sight, I lost the ability to use a map,” she said. “This has been awesome for me to have that ability again”, the girl said.

Tyler designed the 3D campus map using SolidWorks software and 3D printed a number of prototypes using the university’s in-house 3D printers. “For main campus, I had a picture of the map up on one screen, and I had SolidWorks open on my other screen and I was just eyeballing it, drawing all of the buildings. Enough people had heard about it that they taught me how to do it better. Now I can take a screenshot of the map, put it in SolidWorks and just trace the buildings”, the engineering student expressed.

The maps were printed using PLA and are only 1/4 of an inch thick, making them easy to carry around. To account for the size of the campus, Tyler has separated the whole map into different sections, each measuring 5 x 9inches, which can be easily assembled by sliding them together. Each takes about ten hours to print. But results are positive: “She shrieked the first time she held it,” he said of his fellow. “It was awesome to see it transform from an idea to something that could actually help.”

The team is still developing and improving the product, and Tyler is starting to design these 3D printed maps for other campuses.

Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2b7GeAP

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Kaitlyn Kellermeyer, from USA, is a blind student at Texas A&M University who is creating, with the help of her friend Tyler Wooten, a 3D printed tactile map embossed with braille to help blind and visually impaired students to better understand the university campus and navigate through it more easily.

Comments (5)

  • Thomas Brown Fri, 07/06/2018 - 12:11

    This is such a great description of your process, and something we all go through. I think we start to polarize so intensely on the work, that we really do start to become blind to it. I turn my paintings upside down when I start a dissatisfied inner dialogue, and confuse my brain into thinking it's seeing something completely different. It works most of the time !
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