A partnership between MatterHackers, e_NABLE, Aleph Objects and Pinshape has sponsored a worthy design challenge.
The challenge, entitled “Envision the Future”, focuses on developing improvements for visually impaired people. They describe the task as follows:
The challenge is to create an educational model which helps communicate a concept or lesson in the classroom for the blind and visually impaired, OR design an assistive device for simple, everyday tasks.
The emphasis here is on “tactile”, where visually impaired individuals can learn by touching models in some innovative way.
The contest is open from March 20 to May 8 and is open to either youth (under 18) or adult entrants, each of whom will be judged in separate categories. Entries require uploading to Pinshape for judgement.
Prizes are good: the Youth winner receives a LulzBot Mini, courtesy of Aleph Objects, and the Adult winner receives a LulzBot TAZ 6, both exceptionally well-regarded machines.
I strongly support this project, as it helps enable, or at least make aware the possibilities of on-demand making in the classroom. In the future teachers of visually impaired students might be able to draw upon a large library of appropriate teaching aids that can be printed immediately for use in a lesson.