NOTE: We uploaded an update of this for easier printing on an FDM printer https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3429056
This is a one-line braille slate and stylus -- a manual way to write in braille. Put a sheet of regular 8.5"x11" paper in between the bars and use the stylus to make the braille dots. Depending on the strength of your filament and print, the stylus may or may not be strong enough to use... if it is not, wooden toothpicks work as a stylus.
You can print and use our guide to reverse the braille dots. Be sure to "write" from right to left so that it will read properly when turned over. This is a great way to get kids involved in communicating with a visually impaired person in their classroom.
I used Tinkercad to design this, it is a very straightforward simple design. The "hardest" part was making sure all the spacing was correct for the braille dots.
Learn how to manually write in Braille dots to communicate with visually impaired persons.
Although this project works for anyone who can spell, it is particularly suited for grades 3-8.
- Print braille slate
- Gather some toothpicks to use as a stylus (we keep several handy in case one breaks or gets dull). You can also use the 3D printed stylus if your print of it turns out strong enough.
- Get a piece of typing paper
- Print the "Braille Alphabet and Numbers" guide
- Insert paper between printed braille slate
- Going from RIGHT to LEFT use the toothpick (or stylus) to poke out your message, using the Braille Alphabet and Numbers guide (the mirrored portion)
- After creating one line of text, move the paper up and make your next line
- Turn paper over when finished and lightly feel the braille you just created
- Give it to your visually impaired friend!
At the end of this project, students should not only have a braille slate that can be used over and over again, but they should also have created a note or short letter to give to a blind person. If it is a graded assignment, simply have the blind person read the note aloud. Note To Teacher: you may want to wait a day to give the notes to a blind person to give yourself time to check any students who you think could write something derogatory, thinking it is funny.
If you would like to edit the file, I have it posted publicly on Tinkercad.
If you do not want to print it yourself, I have a slightly altered version available for sale on Shapeways.