Spotlight: 3D printing

At Braille and Large Print Services, we have been experimenting with 3D printing technologies to create a library of prints that can be accessed by students with vision impairment and their committed support teachers.

3D model of a partial skeleton, with skeleton images on either sides
Image: The 3D prints - such as this skeleton - are designed to bridge gaps between sighted and non-sighted students.


Inclusive classroom resources


These prints are designed to work alongside available resources to create a comprehensive picture of learning material and concepts. They incorporate textures, details, and colours that tactile graphics alone cannot offer.

The 3D prints are designed to bridge gaps between sighted and non-sighted students, to increase socialisation with peers, boost confidence and foster a learning environment that is exciting and lively.

This library currently covers a large number of core curriculum areas across K-12 education.

The Braille and Large Print Services team has done research, in-classroom testing and pilot programs to explore the benefits of 3D printed objects.

Image: The Braille and Large Print Services team has done research, in-classroom testing and pilot programs to explore the benefits of 3D printed objects.


Benefits


These prints offer:

  • The ability to explain complex ideas like multi-faceted shapes, mathematical curves, and biological structures.
  • Assistance with interpreting visual information and navigational landmarks.
  • The ability to feel objects that otherwise be too small, large, dangerous or rare to be touched.
  • A tool for vision-impaired and sighted students to learn together.

Teachers can use 3D printed objects in lessons based on student discussion, as they can give your child the opportunity to engage with content in the same way as their peers.

Together, your child and their classmates can discuss complex ideas and then explore them tactually – all students in the class can explore real-world objects from all angles.


Image: The team has produced prints across a range of subject areas.


Availability


We have distributed several 3D prints to classrooms across NSW as part of a pilot test, and have received very positive and encouraging feedback.

As of September 2020, we have produced prints across Anatomy, Biology, Ancient History, Astronomy, Geography, Mathematics, Australian Iconography, Architecture, and STEM education. We will continue their exploration in these areas and also move into HSIE, TAS, and English and Literature.

Find out more about the work the Braille and Large Print Services team are doing to support students in NSW schools

Image: These prints are a tool for vision-impaired and sighted peers to learn together.
Return to top of page Back to top