Braille Writing Board

This week’s assignment was to make something on the laser cutter. Measuring is key to getting out of your material the shape you wanted. I understand this, and measuring things is one of my strengths, even imagined things. I have a natural sense for taking measurements of existing things and translating them into similarly sized other things that are still on the planning stages, and do not yet exist.

My laser cut project for this week had its origins months ago when I imagined falling in love with the laser cutter when becoming a student at ITP. Oh how disappointed I was in class last Thursday when Ben Light’s tip of the week was exactly not to fall in love with the thing.

I met up and started a collaboration with Emily, at ITP, around the laser cutter even before Intro to Fabrication began. I worked with her on what is now my braille writing board by drawing out cutouts for braille dot inserts on thick cardboard. We referenced the parameters for braille writing available from the Braille Authority of North America. I mentally increased the real life dimension of the dot and the spacing between dots to something more enlarged and that would be used with pegs to form braille letters on a peg board.

I had a problem with producing the pegs. Thankfully the problem was seen and detected before I went crazy on the laser cutter with material that is less than optimal for the tool. I thought I’d have pegs laser-cut from 1/4 inch wood, then glued two layers high. I knew this was not going to get much respect from Ben Light, probably for good reasons. 1/4 inch wood is about the absolute maximum we should be cutting on the 75 watts cutter, so I was really going to push it with the material.

The initial design for the braille writing board had holes 12 mm. in diameter. luckily I had just purchased wooden beads 10 mm. in diameter, which fit my board perfectly.

My first cardboard prototype had braille cell spacings not very distinguishable from the spaces between the cells. You see, no matter how good is my spacial imagination, it is still advised to prototype, and try again.

The second time through, i had better spacing. I took one perforated sheet of cardboard from the laser cutter and glued it against a flat board of the same size to create a backing so the beads can be put in place, and stay there.

This post currently has no pictures. It will be edited to include pictures of the project for illustration 

One thought on “Braille Writing Board

  • November 14, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Good work so far. Yes, I would love to see images and maybe your Illustrator file added to the blog post.


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