3D Printed Books Allow Blind Children To Experience Literary Classics

3D Printed Books Allow Blind Children To Experience Literary Classics

The Tactile Picture Book Project creates 3D illustrations so the visually impaired can follow texts with images.

Hilary Weaver
  • 7 july 2014

3D printing has just opened up a whole new world for visually impaired children. Researchers at the University of Colorado have found a way to adapt children’s illustrations into 3D designs so that they can follow along  with the text. The Tactile Picture Book Project is the result of a partnership with the Anchor Center, whose mission it is to ensure educational success for children with vision impairment. Thus far, the project has adapted such childhood favorites as Harold and the Purple Crayon, Goodnight Moon and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

According to an interview conducted for a story by Mashable, children don’t start to read braille until age 6, but this 3D approach will allow for them to access and comprehend literature at an earlier age. Although the books are now created by Algorithms and sent to the printers, researchers at Colorado University hope the option will soon be available for parents and educators to take photos of books and immediately 3D print.


3D printing is not a stranger to children’s healthcare. Earlier this year, NPR covered a story about infant Garrett Peterson, who was born with Tracheomalacia, which left him with a defective windpipe and unable to properly breathe. Dr. Glen Green at the University of Michigan specializes in complex pediatric airway conditions like Garrett’s and developed a 3D-printed device that held the baby’s windpipe open until it could properly develop on its own. Green took a CT scan of Garrett’s windpipe to build a replica of the small structure. Then they developed a small splint that would fit to the size and shape of the windpipe. The device has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration but nevertheless saved Garrett’s life.


Not only is the 3D revolution allowing for advancements in children’s healthcare, but it’s opening possibility for change in the lives of everyday consumers.  PSFK has recently explored the emergence of 3D printing; the Mink 3D printer is one such newly released invention. Able to produce makeup from an image on Pinterest or a cell phone, the printer fills in color with the pigment of the user’s choosing. From advancements in vision impaired education and baby healthcare to cosmetics, 3D printing is managing to gain a holistic presence—and fast.

Tactile Picture Book Project


Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology Yesterday

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children Yesterday

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Yesterday

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Lynn Casey

Branding, Digital Marketing, Media Relations

Food Yesterday

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed december 1, 2016

Communications Officer: What This Holiday Season Means For Millennial Shoppers

Dallas Lawrence of the Rubicon Project shares why holiday cheer is all about likes, views and retweets

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated Yesterday

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail Yesterday

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion Yesterday

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Yesterday

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Yesterday

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.