Generating tactile drawings.

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Thu Mar 31 16:49:37 UTC 2022

Here's Wikipedia's take on tactile graphics:

> On Mar 31, 2022, at 06:02, Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at> wrote:
> 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
> melted...
> 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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