3D Printing Helping Visually Impaired Children Envision the World


Children who are visually impaired often have a hard time “seeing” the world though words. While learning Braille can improve their ability to communicate with the world around them, it doesn’t change the fact that they still cannot see the things they are learning about.

Designer Tanian Jain and Opthalmologist Anthony Vipin Das have a developed a new way to help visually impaired children envision the objects that they are learning about.

Introducing the Fittle project, 3D printed puzzles that combine shapes, words, and textures to allow visually impaired children to better visualize the world around them. These puzzles are designed in the shapes of various objects, with the name of the object printed onto the puzzle in Braille. This concept allows kids to not only learn the word, but the shape of it as well –allowing them to visualize the object.

The Fittle project uses FDM/FFF 3D printers to create the Fittle puzzles. Thanks to 3D printing technology, the Fittle team can expand on their original concept of just shapes and words, and are able to add textures to the shapes, making the visualization process even more real.

The Fittle team is in the process of designing a creative alphabet with Braille, and the 3D technology will allow the alphabet to come to life.

The Fittle puzzles are designed to be playful and fun, and to inspire learning. Fittle puzzles are designed to be taught by a parent or teacher, and the various shapes of objects make it easy for children to discover and understand.