3D Printing Technique “Didú” Helps Visually Impaired Feel Art

Share this Article

diduA few strict rules usually accompany museum visits, and these include “No Photographs” and “No Touching.” Now a new 3D printing technique is being applied to buck these conventional rules, allowing sight-impaired visitors more access to great works of art through an unusual pathway: they can touch printed recreations of great works to their heart’s content in specific exhibits designed for just this purpose.

Museums have long struggled to create accessible exhibits for sight-impaired visitors, with guided tours being one of the most commonly offered. However, the guided tour relies quite a bit on verbal description, leaving much to be desired regarding communicating a sense of the objects’ spatial dimensions. Touch tours have also been used, where sight-impaired visitors can actually touch sculptures in a museum’s collection while under close supervisi-_prado_accesible_02on and guidance from museum staff.

We’ve seen a few uses of 3D printing to help the visually impaired experience visual arts. Now, a 3D printing technique called Didú is introducing yet another way to include the sight-impaired in art appreciation by allowing them to truly feel the artworks.

Madrid, Spain’s Prado Museum has launched an exhibit titled “Touching the Prado” which features Didú reprints of six painting masterpieces from its collection including Velazquez’s “The Triumph of Bacchus” and “Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan,” El Greco’s “Nobleman with His Hand on His Chest,” and Goya’s “The Parasol.” The paintings are photographed and 3D printed to create almost a textual guide to the original paintings (see video below or photographs here).

Didú is a technique created by Bilbao, Spain-based design agency Estudios Durero, which describes the technique on their website as “relief printing which allows us to get closer to art in a different way” by adding volume and texture to what is usually a flat representation. Or in the cases of paintings with texture, paintings are off-limits for touching because touch can alter the paintings’ sensitive constitution. As the Washington Post has described the Didú technique, it takes about 40 hours to achieve the detailed effects of volume and texture in a high resolution photograph of an original artwork. After the printing, it takes another 12 hours to apply a chemical that brings volume to otherwise flat surfaces. The outcome is an original interpretation of the original — a tactile image — that velacan bring out entirely different dimensions in art that all can enjoy.

Instead of having the paintings’ details described, now they can also be felt — offering a different sensory experience to great works of art. In fact, by touching one’s way through an artwork, the sight-impaired can create a mental map of the entire piece, and potentially develop a more emotional response to the experience as well. The exhibit, which museum officials developed in collaboration with visual impairment professionals, includes braille-based educational materials, audio guides for visitors, and even opaque glasses to enhance the experience for fully-sighted visitors.

The impetus for the exhibit was that the museum lagged behind creating accessible exhibits for sight-impaired visitors although they had recently offered exhibits focusing on those experiencing Alzheimer’s-related dementia and autism. Didú’s special facilitation of art appreciation through touch creates almost a revolution for the sight-impaired when it comes to experiencing art, and it is also a welcome technology for sighted people to experience art in a radical new way: by touching it!

mirar-con-tacto--644x362

The exhibit is running through June 28, 2015 and you can follow Estudios Durero’s progress on Twitter, too. Tell us what you think about this initiative in the Didú 3D Relief Printing forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

https://vimeo.com/51357885

Paintings For Vision-Impaired People At The Prado Museumtoca el prado

Share this Article


Recent News

3DP AIPerfecter Offers Part Analysis to 3D Printing Service Bureaus

RIZE Achieves Further UL 3D Printing Certifications for Low Emissions and High Safety



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Additive Flight Solutions Awarded AS9100D Certification for Commercial Aircraft 3D Printing

With increasingly stringent standards and regulations governing the aircraft industry, MRO providers must obtain the latest certifications in order to serve their customers, as well as to ensure compliance within...

3D Printing Webinar and Virtual Event Roundup, July 27, 2020

A virtual 3DEXPERIENCE event is coming up this week, in addition to webinars on topics such as additive manufacturing safety, supply chain issues, printing intelligent parts, and more. 3DEXPERIENCE: A...

Featured

RIZE Introduces Adaptive 2XC Desktop 3D Printer for Offices, Schools, and Homes

In 2016, Massachusetts-based 3D printing company RIZE Inc. released its first industrial-grade desktop 3D printer, the Rize One, renowned for its safety, low emissions, and elimination of post-processing. Then, in...

3D Printing Webinar and Virtual Event Roundup, June 23, 2020

We’ve got three upcoming webinars to tell you about in this week’s roundup, with two taking place at the same time on June 24th. The first one is focused on...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.