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You are my eye: green printing opens a new chapter in Braille
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You are my eye: green printing opens a new chapter in Braille

Views:2     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-04-09      Origin:Site

On May 17, 2018, when the Disabled Day came, researchers from the Green Printing Laboratory of the Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences entered the Beijing School for the Blind and donated a blind book printed on the basis of green printing technology. A second-year blind boy opened a brand new "No Mind and Unhappy" and boldly smashed the point of perception. “The teacher told us that you don’t have to worry about the ‘read’s book bumps being worn out,” he told reporters.

“Green printing technology has opened a new chapter in Braille.” Chen Yu, vice president of the Beijing School for the Blind, said at the donation site that “new Braille books are durable, green, and illustrated, improving teaching effectiveness and learning quality for children. There is a 'visual' feast."

Starting from the smallest point in the world

Braille books printed in the traditional way are mechanically imprinted. After many readings, many raised Braille points are smoothed out. At the same time, the long publication period, high cost, low publication volume, large volume and insufficient precision of Braille books directly restrict students' learning. Li Wei, a teacher of the Beijing Blind School, who has been engaged in Braille editing and printing for a long time, is deeply touched. “The Braille material is very heavy, and the thick kraft paper material is also easy to scratch the hand, and the service life and storage time are relatively short,” she told reporters.

Song Yanlin, director of the Green Printing Laboratory of the Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who has been engaged in the research and development of green printing technology, noticed this. Since 2014, around the “coffee ring effect” in the field of inkjet printing, researchers have successfully regulated the nanoscale interface properties of inks and substrates, so that ink droplets no longer spread. On this basis, they print out the smallest ink dots with only one nanoparticle, and then the ink dots are connected into the thinnest line to form a flat surface, which overcomes the high-precision pattern of the nanoparticles by printing. Puzzle.

Song Yanlin realized that perhaps green printing technology can achieve durable, antibacterial, low-cost Braille printing. Therefore, he led laboratory researchers to combine the green printing technology with the principle of 3D printing with the support of the Chinese Academy of Sciences pilot project to actively explore Braille printing.

On January 30 this year, Song Yanlin's research team exchanged with Guo Liqun, director of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, and Li Qingzhong, vice chairman of the China Blind Association, and vice president of China Braille Press. At this point, green printing technology has begun to reach the blind people step by step from the realization of the smallest point in the world.

Full chain technology fills the gap

"It is not enough to have a technology. The current problem of Braille printing is the problem of the whole chain." Song Yanlin has accumulated some experience in the field of green printing technology conversion. He knows that to make blind people really use new blind documents, it is necessary to build a system technology of the whole chain.

In terms of materials, the researchers used inks using environmentally friendly nanobacterial 3D materials. “This material penetrates into the film on the surface of the paper and is deeply compounded with the paper cellulose by capillary force. When it is cured, it forms an interpenetrating network structure in the gap between the paper fibers, and firmly bonds with the surface of the paper, so that the formed Braille bump is extremely resistant to friction. Braille books are durable." Song Yanlin introduced.

On the printer, the researchers used image segmentation to solve the contradiction between print speed and accuracy, cut large format into multiple small faces, and print in parallel with multiple print heads. This approach not only increases speed and accuracy, but also significantly reduces costs. At the same time, the researchers also developed a set of software that decomposes the three-dimensional structure, enabling accurate printing of stereoscopic graphics through layered overlay printing. The first D74 printing device that has been completed provides about 400 pages per hour of Braille printing speed

With the new Braille books, Li Wei and the students all fell in love: "The weight and comfort can reach the level of Chinese textbooks. After repeated reading, the points are still clear and the blind lines are smoother."

"print" Braille into life

Facing the future, the Song Yanlin team will accelerate the development of office-level and industrial-grade Braille printing equipment. At present, the green printing technology inkjet printing method does not require plate making, is not limited by the amount of printing, and can realize personalized customization services. Blind schools, libraries, digital fast printing centers and other office environments will have a huge demand for green digital Braille printing.

According to the plan, office-grade equipment will set up two series of desktop (low speed) and vertical (medium speed) products, sharing ink materials with other equipment, and the equipment volume will meet the narrow space. Industrial-grade equipment development will significantly reduce paper costs. Researchers will work with China Braille Press to develop high-speed, fully automated green digital Braille printing production equipment to meet their demand for capacity enhancement.

In addition, in order to help the blind to a better life, researchers now plan to incorporate green print-printing Braille into the universal design of everyday consumer goods. “Increase Braille printing, barrier-free labeling, etc. on medicines and food packaging. Through the application in the traditional packaging and label market, it can seamlessly connect with existing technologies to better serve the visually impaired group.” Song Yanlin told reporters.

Chen Yu expects to apply Braille printing to electronic products, to achieve multi-sensory blending with audio, to expand children's imagination and change their lives.


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