3D Tactile Children’s Book Workshop

Earlier in July, SSD was proud to host a workshop centered around the idea of making tactile books for children with visual impairments.


The workshop creators, Abby and her associate Vicki, approached SSD a few months prior asking to host the workshop at our space. The idea was too amazing to say no. This workshop was just one in a series of workshops, which are part of a larger research project. You can read more about the project here.

The main goal of the workshop was to understand the 3D design process as well as understand the gaps that must be filled to get parents printing books for their own children. Luckily, the skill level of each participant was at a different point on the spectrum, ranging from no experience with 3D design software, to some experience, to one attendee who does 3D design professionally. Each chose a different children’s book to model, and went about the design process.

Here, Todd models a bear from Goodnight Moon out of clay. His lack of 3D modeling software experience made him seek a more outside of the box approach. Luckily, Abby and Vicki were well prepared with a variety of modeling mediums and tools.

I chose The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein as my model. Here you can see me designing the first page in SketchUp. I chatted with Vicki about how you could compress many pages into fewer tactile images. It’s interesting to think of conveying the morals and ideas through touch rather than visually.

Mike, who designs 3D models professionally, creates a page from Each Peach Pear Plum.

It was a pleasure to both host and participate in this workshop. I wish Abby, Vicki and the rest of their team the best of luck as they move forward with this project. We hope to have them back for more workshops like this in the near future.


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