The process begins with a short presentation and discussion session, where the teacher will give an overview of braille and how 3D printing can be used to manufacture models to assist the blind. Following the presentation, students will be allocated a letter that forms part of their school name.
This will then be followed by the main part of the lesson - the student workbook. Using a braille alphabet and step-by-step instructions included in the lesson pack, each student will use 3D CAD software to design a model of their allocated letter. The model will consist of raised dots (the braille) on one side as well as an engraved text label on another side.
The final stage will be a 3D printing demonstration of one of the models. Following the lesson, the teacher can send all braille models to the 3D printer.
The final outcome will be a series of cube shaped braille models that can be placed/glued to a surface where it will be legible. Alternatively you may wish to run an extension activity where students are assigned the mission of designing a holder for the braille models.
In this lesson students will:
- develop contextual knowledge of braille
- understand the basic principles of braille design
- design CAD models to set dimensions
- develop an understanding of 3D printers and how they operate
- manufacture braille models through 3D printing
1 x laptop/computer with mouse and internet access (students can share computers if necessary and work in pairs)
1 x pen/pencil
1 x screen for presentation
1 x 3D printer and PLA filament
1 x laptop/computer preloaded with slicing software for your 3D printer
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