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Using 3D Printing to Improve Access to Graphics by Blind and Low Vision People

Primary supervisor

Matthew Butler


Research area

Inclusive Technology

This project seeks to explore the use of 3D printing to provide better access to graphical information to those who are blind or have low vision.

Most graphical information is inaccessible to the blind and low vision community. This could be any of the 1000's of graphics we see on a daily basis... whether it be in education, in getting around, in the news, or even in galleries and museums. Standard practices include the provision of what are called tactile graphic, raised line drawings on a page. While these are vitally important and are crucial for BLV people, they can be costly to produce and have inherent limitations in their ability to convey 3D information as well as detail.

In this project you will explore how 3D printing can be used to bridge this gap, especially in education and orientation & mobility. We are also looking at how we can use other maker technologies, such as low cost electronics to enhance them with additional information and interaction.

Required knowledge

Candidates should have experience in the design and production of 3D models. Experience in the use of maker technologies, such as Arduino and simple electronics, would be of benefit. Candidates will also be expected to engage in a participatory research approach, involving blind and low vision end users as well as sector professionals. 

Project funding

Project based scholarship

Learn more about minimum entry requirements.