On November 17th, 2022 our Austrian project partners the Hilfsgemeinschaft der Blinden und Sehschwachen Österreichs invited guests to a conference to introduce in the project results to the public.
In addition to the presentation of the project results, a panel discussion was held on the topic of “What benefits can new technologies such as 3D printing provide specifically for visually impaired people? “.
Benjamin Aigner of the FH Technikum Wien from the Department Electronic Engineering reported that he has extensive experience on 3D technologies and that the use of 3D pronting is taught at the FH Technikum.
Horst Ganizer from the Bundes-Blindeninstitut Wien presented models produced with 3D printers and explanied that the use of this technology has found wide use in teaching with visually impaired and blind children. Horst Ganitzer also reported that for the production and design of the models he has hired a technician who works exclusively with this technology.
Martin Mayhrhover of the VIDEBIS company reported that although they do not use 3D technologies, they commission the production of frames for glasses that are produced by outside firms using 3D technologies.
Ms. Christiane Hauck of the Hilfsgemeinschaft emphasized the potential of being able to customize through 3D technology the production of products for visually impaired and blind people such as knobs for household appliances.
This aspect of customizing objects through 3D printers got great interest from the meeting participants.
Georg Regal of the Austrian Institute of Technology reported that his Center has been using 3D technologies for some time, which are being used for the production of prototypes and also as part of a recent project to create replicas of ar objects.
Markus Hatzenbichler of the FoTech company reported that he uses 3D devices that are not filament-based but work with powders and lasers. Markus Hatzenbichler was surprised by the problem of the accessibility of 3D technologies and does not think that the use of the devices used in his company are usable by people with visual impairments for safety reasons.
One participant reported about the “Moonalphabet” and suggested that through 3D printers it would be possible to produce the signs and symbols of this alphabet to mark objects.
Interest in the applications of 3D technology emerged from the meeting, opening up the possibility for Hilfsgemeinschaft to serve its members by producing aids through this technology.
This discussion was followed by a practical workshop where participants were introduced to how 3D printers work.
The event was very well received and the participants were very interested in the topic. All participants received a small gift bag containing useful everyday items. These items were, of course, mostly produced with a 3D printer.
All pictures are provided in courtesy by Hilfsgemeinschaft der Blinden und Sehschwachen Österreichs