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The geologic method of stratigraphy which studies the structure of the earth by making layers was employed with 3D laser cutting techniques to make more easily defined tactile regions in templates of cells, tissues and anatomic regions containing muscles and bones. Templates were made audio responsive by hand-drilling a small hole in a template and filling that hole with conductive electric paint. A finger touch to the template top side now carries a charge similar to an electric circuit to the template bottom side resting on the surface of an iPad or iPad Pro where an audio button produces audio describing what structure was touched on the upper surface. Templates made using laser cutting start with 3 mm width acrylic sheets and use svg (scalable vector graphics) files made from line drawings of cells or tissues or anatomic sections. Some variation in height between acrylic pieces lying next to each other can utilize 3D laser cut veneer (thin 1mm width wood) placed underneath one laser cut acrylic piece to more easily produce a tactile difference between two acrylic pieces lying close to each other such as with a muscle and a bone. Examples of 3D laser cut audio-responsive templates include structures associated with a chicken egg and the organelles of a typical cell made from line drawings from the TAEVIS collection originally designed for making raised line graphics from swell paper. Also included are examples made from transverse sections of a human cadaver contained in the National Library of Medicine “Visible Human” project.
Kolitsky, Michael A. Ph.D.
"Making 3D Laser Cut Stratigraphic Audio-responsive Tactile Templates,"
Journal of Science Education for Students with Disabilities: Vol. 22
Available at: https://scholarworks.rit.edu/jsesd/vol22/iss1/5
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