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Space Technology

Hubble Images Become Tactile 3D Experience For the Blind 20

An anonymous reader writes "3D printers are transforming the business, medical, and consumer landscapes by creating objects like airplane parts, lamps, jewellery, and even artificial human bones. Now astronomers are experimenting with the technology to transform astronomy education, turning images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope into tactile 3D pictures for people who cannot explore celestial wonders visually."
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Hubble Images Become Tactile 3D Experience For the Blind

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  • by c0lo ( 1497653 ) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @10:11PM (#45913399)
    Be prepared to touch a range starting from cold cosmic dust clouds to the zillions of Kelvins or so of neutron stars.
    But... avoid the black holes experience if you can.
    • by msobkow ( 48369 )

      There are so many possibilities. Vertical height to indicate gravity strength, or vertical height to indicate temperature?

      What about "roughness" as a dimension?

      Personally I think trying to express a 3D universe as a 2D "image" with 3D "effects" would be more confusing than just relying on the imagination.

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      Thats one advantage the blind have - they can feel the black hole, but sighted people can't see it.

      I just realised that could be taken the wrong way, oh well...

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        Thats one advantage the blind have - they can feel the black hole, but sighted people can't see it.

        I sense some really bad Goatse Braille jokes coming. I'm switching topics before it's too late.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What part of the business and consumer world is being transformed and what is the transformation?

    What human bone has been 3D printed? It's just a mold for harvested cells to cling to. All I see about "3d printed human bones" is an awful lot of "may"s and just stuff shaped like a bone.

    Can we please have a bit of critical thinking here please? The tone of these 3D printing stories is just mindless fanboyism.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      For a medically useful example well over a decade ago there was a 3D model of a child's deformed skull generated from CAT imaging. The surgeon used it to devise and test a successful procedure of cutting and moving bone for facial reconstruction by cutting up the model skull. That example was on display at the facility where it was "printed" from around 2001.
      Meanwhile there are people printing nerve tissue and portions of organs based on material grown from people - all designed to make it so the printed
  • by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:05AM (#45913919) Homepage Journal
    "Feel this 3D printed model of a star?"


    "Imagine countless billions more of them so far away you can't touch them."


    • Even if they make the Z-Depth a factor of 10 smaller than the X-Y coordinates, any model will have to be at least 3 TIMES bigger for them to really see how big the universe is.

  • What about those of us who wish to explore both visually and haptically ?

    Are these 3D images JUST for the visually challenged? Seems mighty unfair to me. Like 'toilets for the disabled'.. surely they mean 'toilets with disabled access' ?

    Am I not allowed to walk up the wheel chair ramp now, or use the chair lift either? Am I going to have to gouge my eyes out and chop off my legs in order to enjoy all the good new tech !?

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?