Modular 3-D-printed education tool for blind and visually impaired students oriented to net structures

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Contribution: This article presents the design, creation, testing, and results after the use of a 3-D-printed educational tool that helped a blind student learning electric circuits theory in higher education. Background: Educational tools oriented to visually impaired and blind students in higher education are limited or even nonexistent in the STEM area. Previous developments on the field present in the literature, including other 3-D printing solutions, have been revised and compared to the proposed educational tool. Intended Outcomes: The tool was tested by a blind student in order to test the potential of the design to achieve a better understanding of the topology and performance of electric circuits. The main purpose of the tool described in this work is helping to increase the resources available in the field of teaching students with visual impairments. Application Design: 3-D technology has the potential to be used to create accessibility tools for visually impaired and blind individuals. Modular systems can be used to create complex structures using simple elements. A modular 3-D-printed tool was fabricated to help blind and visually impaired students to learn net structures. Findings: The 3-D tool has allowed the blind student to work autonomously in the study of simple electric circuits and supplies the teacher with a resource to communicate with the student in an easy and fast way. Updated design can be used to describe more complex net structures that can be applied to most electric circuits despite their complexity. The use of the modular system provided the blind student with a direct representation of the whole subject, even when it involved a great amount of graphical information and manipulation.
3-D printing, Blindness, Computer engineering, Design, Higher education, Prototyping, Rapid prototyping (RP), Students with disabilities
Bibliographic citation
Domínguez-Reyes, R., Moreno, L., Muñoz-Sanchez, A., Ruiz, B., & Savoini, B. (2023). Modular 3-D-Printed Education Tool for blind and visually impaired students oriented to net structures. IEEE Transactions on Education, 66(1), 55-61.