The children’s classic, “Goodnight, Moon” that depicts a bunny in bed wishing good night to his surroundings has been printed in 3D for the first time, allowing visually impaired children and their families to touch objects in the story as it is read aloud.
Researchers at the University of Colorado created the project with the goal to use computer science to better people’s lives. The project was created in partnership with the Anchor Center, an organization in Denver dedicated to supporting and educating visually impaired children.
Currently there are a number of tactile picture books on the market, however, these are mostly hand made which leads to a limited supply and extremely high prices compared to standard picture books. Researchers at the university convert the images into 3D-printed books through computational algorithms. The ultimate goal is to streamline the process so educators and parents of visually impaired children can take a photo of a children’s book and send the photo to a 3D printer to create a tactile book.
Since the original Goodnight Moon book was 3D-printed, the Tactile Picture Books Project has added The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Cat in the Hatto the collection, and it’s continuing to grow.
3D printing technology is advancing at a staggering rate. American designers are now working on 3D printed cars, and in some countries, 3D printers are building entire houses. 3D printing opens up a whole new world and this is just one more thing made possible since the first 3D printer was released. As designers, we look forward to seeing how it impacts various industries as 3D printers become more accessible to the everyday consumer.
For more information on the 3D printed books, visit Mashable’s site here.