3D Printer Helps Blind Children Visualize Objects

ReutersPublished: December 20, 20132,624 viewsVirality: 38%
Published: December 20, 2013

Nine-year-old Yui Yamamoto is visually impaired and she has never seen a snowflake.

But a new 3D printer at her school in Japan is producing a plastic replica that she can feel.

Yui Yamamoto, visually impaired elementary school student, saying (Japanese):

"It creates whatever I want to touch with my hands. It's really cool."

The children can now picture precise details of objects using their tactile senses, rather than imagination alone.

And even though printing takes a while, Minako Wakayama, a teacher at the school says it's a valuable tool.

Minako Wakayama, teacher at Hanawa Hokichi Saitama Prefectural School, saying (Japanese):

"This machine helps visually impaired children to expand their imagination and understanding of the world by touching various things that are too big, too small or too dangerous to be handled."

The printer is at the school for one month - so at least for the time being, children like Yui Yamamoto can explore much more of the world than they could before. Credit: Reuters

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