The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Art Education Professor, Students Use 3D Printing to Help Blind People 'See' Art

A 3D-printed scale model of a sculpture enables visually-impaired visitors to use their sense of touch to experience visual art.

Students in a Penn State independent studies course in art education have joined with a Penn State doctoral student to research how tactile graphics made from 3D printing can enable students who are blind to experience visual art.

Aaron Knochel, assistant professor of art education in the School of Visual Arts, taught the course with two undergraduates and Alyssa Pittenger, a graduate student in art education. At first, Knochel said, the part of the course that reviewed 3D printing was more about art making, but he wanted to think about how this technology can impact the use of assistive devices in education. Elizabeth Pyatt, an instructional designer with the Office of Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) who is active in accessibility technology at Penn State, approached him about participating in a digital fabrication and assistive-technology working group.

Full story, by Jamie Oberdick

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