BrailleRap Bhutan: how we replicated an opensource braille printer and so can you

Saad Chinoy, Felipe Schmidt Fonseca

Bhutan is uniquely situated in so many ways but in this context at the end of a very long supply chain. We look at how we used opensource to make something that makes sense using meaningful engagement and locally sourced parts. So why don't we make more meaningful things?
Hands On

Get hands-on with the BrailleRap project, look into how opensource enables us to repurpose and reuse a disused 3D printer into something that prints braille on paper, and other materials. The project prompted by the Fab23 Bhutan Challenge led to the process of replicating an opensource project, engaging the students at Bhutans only engineering college to interact with persons with visual impairments, and their caregivers in critical and hands-on ways. 

We look at how the creative problem solving process of replicating an opensource hardware projects offers up meaningful learning opportunities at the FabLab within its campus, it's immediate social neighbourhood with the education of special needs students, the broader context of the Kingdom of Bhutan and its place up in the mountains and yet intrinsically linked to its neighbour, India and global supply chains.
Through the process of Critical Making we understand the local context while leveraging on the global commons to address challenges of accessibility, in terms of materials, fabrication, co-creation, and visual impairments. The things we make are conduits to understanding. We are what we co-create.