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Using 3D printing to help vision impaired people ‘see’

3D printing is game changing for innovation and society. The point of using a 3D printer is to turn a digital or scanned image into a physical object. I included scan because it is possible to scan your physical self and 3D print a mini you. I’ll talk about 3D print mini you in a separate post.

What is this about? Yahoo! Japan have developed the concept of Hands On Search. People with full visual impairment are unable to see the results of a search for example, Google search or Yahoo! search. 3D printing challenges the status quo with a voice recognised search function. The search is then processed and 3D printed. The result is a physical object which can be seen to a visually impaired person with touch and feel.

Opportunity: Although many 3D printer owners have tapped onto the niche 3D print market there is a gap in using the technology to improve education and development for visually impaired people. The education system such as schools and also societies for visually impaired people would be the main marketing community.

Tools for starting up: A computer and a 3D printer. The cheapest popular printer I could find is the Up!Mini for AUD$626 from 3D Printer Superstore. Refilling the materials to print objects can be expensive in the ongoing process, so a printer with a commercial capability would be more ideal. Also, knowing how to develop a program that can register voice recognised search opposed to typing a ‘Google’ search.




  1. Pingback: Subscriptions for your product or service? | suberbly - January 24, 2015

  2. Pingback: There aren’t enough 3D printing services. Could you start up? | suberbly - January 24, 2015

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