I was quite surprised to find out how expensive assistive technology is. A mechanical braille embosser cost over a 1000$USD and an electric goes from 3000$ up to 5000$. I tough about making one for a friend but I couldn’t find a DIY version, so I decided to make one myself. This isn’t, by any means, a finish product. By making the machine an open source project, I am hoping others will improve the design. In a near future, with the help of others makers, OpenBraille will reduce the cost of these printers and it will allow anyone with a visual imparity to read and write. So, if you know someone, if you are a maker, if you are curious or if you want to help out, please feel free to follow this tutorial and help me built a community around OpenBraille.
The encoder is pretty much the heart of the embosser. Most of the commercial machines emboss the dots by impacting the sheet. Because it’s harder to build a precise machine out of 3D printed parts, I designed a different system. Instead of impacting and applying all the energy in a single hit, OpenBraille uses a physical encoder and a roller. This way, the embossing is gradually done and the parts can be easily printed.
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