A year book acts like a time capsule, transporting you right back to the golden days. It ensures that you never forget a name, a face or a memory. It is your history, your keepsake. Most of us have now shifted to Facebook albums and other virtual forms of sharing memories and pictures. But what about blind students, who have no way of preserving a memory other than touch? With the advances in 3D printing technology, it is now possible to create a touchable yearbook.
Innocean Worldwide agency, a Korean company and 3D Tek aim to create Touchable Yearbooks and help the blind cherish the time spent in the school. The concept is simple: it creates palm-sized, physical versions of the portraits of one’s classmates. Since the face is exactly replicated on the bust using FFF or SLA technology, the visually-impaired have a token of remembrance for life. They can identify each other’s faces years after they part on graduation. Aided with 3D printed braille text name tags, it is a useful, beautiful, and often underrated application of additive manufacturing.
For people reliant on touch alone, imagine the world of meaning and structure 3D printing can expose them to. A tangible, concrete object holds much more significance than an abstract idea. From education to everyday tasks, it can be an invaluable and powerful addition to the lives of those with special needs. Advancement in technology has helped identify and even provide solutions to a plethora of relatively unrecognized trials in life. Such applications not only validate the claim that 3D printing is the future, but also give a glimpse of the joy and beauty it can bring to the world.