Generating tactile drawings.

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Thu Mar 31 13:02:14 UTC 2022

OP here,

I'm curious about the mentioned swellpaper, though I confess, its been
years since I had access to an inkjet printer(not much use for one
when you can't make use of hardcopies and all of one's coursework is
submitted digitally, and the need for one hasn't come up in the years
since I finished my bachelor's degree), so that would be at least two
pieces of hardware I'd need to purchase... how do you transfer images
from the normal paper to the swell paper? Tangentially, I'm reminded
of some stuff that was used for one project during one of my art
classes in highschool... it was essentially kitchen sponge that came
in roughly letter or A4 sized sheets, but which had been compressed to
remove the air pockets. Moisture would cause it to swell up, and the
damp spots would stay swelled once dried... drawing with dry media
like pencil or crayon would result in no swelling, drawing with a felt
tip pen or marker would leave raised lines, and paint would leave
areas quite spongy... and of course, plain water could be used to
swell things up further... wish I knew what the stuff was called, even
though it would be kind of useless for any kind of automated
process... and I have doubts the moisture content in printer ink
varies enough to be noticeable if you successfully sent a sheet of the
stuff through a inkjet printer.

I do recall sifting through Amazon's customer questions on a few
Kricut models a few years back... never purchased one, likely due to
either not being able to find a clear answer on whether  they are
Linux supported, generic enough support isn't needed, or locked down
to the point reverse engineering would be required to get it to work
with Linux or confirming the model that would have fit my budget falls
into that third category... Still, I'd be interested in hearing how
things go when you get around to trying it out.

And yeah, a laser cutter/engraver is definitely on my list of things
I'd want in my dream workshop... though everything I've ever heard
suggest they start expensive and that speed comes at a premium...
though slow and steady might be a hard limitation there to avoid
melting where you don't want it when working with plastic or metal and
avoiding things catching fire when working with wood or other
combustible media... or at least, I've read that an issue that comes
up when laser cutting thicker sheets of acrylic are edges being less
than crisp from where some of the plastic beyond the cut gets

And while tech Kickstarters that catch my attention always seem to
have starting prices in the "I literally can't buy anything else
during the paycycle the pledge is collected" or even "I'd have to go
delinquent on all my bills to cover this" territory, I'd be all over a
campaign that offers a streamlined method for producing tactile
drawings of any kind... though, considering how many Kickstarters I've
backed have included .stl files among their digital rewards and how
often 3D printers, and knowing engrave/emboss algorithms(albeit,
designed to generate grayscale images resembling what the source image
would look like engraved/embossed rather than calculating actual depth
data) have been a somewhat common feature inimage editing software
since at least the WinXP if not Win9x days(I started using Linux as my
primary OS not long before Vista came out), the thought of a "2.5d"
printer that's essentially a 3-d printer optimized for printing bas
reliefs that fill most of the buid plate and using algorithms to
calculate depth from jpegs and pngs or directly taking the depth map
from stereoscopic cameras to generate the bas reliefs to print... but
yeah, it feels like tactile technology is lagging behind audio and
visual technology by a disturbing extent.

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