Hackaday Prize Entry: Compact Braille Printing Press

For the last few years of the Hackaday Prize, we’ve seen a few projects that aim to bring Braille to the masses in a cheap, easy to use electronic device. Aside from the interesting technology that would go into such a device like tiny motors moving even tinier bumps, these projects are a great example of an enabling technology.

For his Hackaday Prize project, [haydn jones] is building something that makes Braille more accessible, but without all that messy technology. It’s 3D printed movable type for Braille. It’s a Braille printing press for nurses, teachers, and anyone else who would like to leave small notes for people who read Braille.

This Hackaday Prize project is the answer to the question, ‘how do you leave a note for a blind person’. Yes, digital voice recorders exist, but movable type is a technology that’s thousands of years old and doesn’t require batteries or any of the other failings of modern electronics. To use this device, all you need to do is assemble a message — a handy Braille cheat sheet is coming soon — and emboss a piece of paper. Keep in mind Braille embossers cost a small fortune, and this project is simple and cheap bits of plastic.

It’s a great idea, and one we’re surprised we haven’t seen before. All in all, a great entry for The Hackaday Prize.

17 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Compact Braille Printing Press

    1. I have a perkin’s brailler (typewriter) and they have been selling for $$$ for some reason. And it’s a bit cumbersome if you’re not familiar with the dots. I’d rather think something like a classic Dymo label maker would work best

      eBay says they exist for ~$30USD but I don’t understand why they would cost any more than a regular labeller

        1. So there are a lot of “Makers” with 3D printers out there; so why hasn’t one (or more) of them made Dymo-compatible Braille drop-in dies for these cheap Dymo devices? Publish the build files on-line! Or maybe there are lots of Frivolous Patents and Corrupt Trial Lawyers that will come after them?

  1. I…I don’t get this. The open-source refreshable braille display that was featured before (last year maybe?) was something I got, but this guy just took his 3D printer and printed dots on plastic, with rather poor quality.

    For a 12 digit display, 4 lines down, he’d need to print out a ton of cubes, not to mention the time it’d take to (correctly) arrange them.

    I’m prepared to be hated for this comment, but I had to make it because I’m been confused as to why this not only is featured, but also won the first round of the HAP.

    1. The picture was the first version, when i just got a 3d printer and using autodesk 123design. I can only guess as to why my project was chosen by HAD, but it became a fully parametric openscad design so can be customised to any scale by changing a couple of numbers, meaning the design exists as code rather than a 3d model. I was not designed for writing long notes but rather labelling foods and small reminders by care givers so I am recommending just one or two lines, so not so many ‘cubes’. It only takes a minute to make a note.

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