Blind Calls

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OwnFone, a London company, has introduced what they claim is the world’s first Braille mobile phone. It’s so difficult to believe that it has taken until now to develop something like this given how many people in the world are sight challenged. I’m glad there is finally an option for those who can’t see.

The OwnFone is retailing right now in London and will be available in the United States in a few months.

The mobile phones feature 3D printing on the front and the back so that they can be more affordable. 3D printing is much less expensive than other manufacturing options. The phones should sell anywhere from $60 to $80.

The Braille mobile phones can be customized. For example, the company can print raised text on the keyboard for those who can’t read Braille. It can also personalized with two or four Braille buttons which are pre-programmed to call friends, family, carers or the emergency services.

In today’s world everyone should have a cell phone. It’s nice to know that those you care about are just a call away in time of need,

3D Printer Saves Baby’s Life

Lately, 3D printers have been getting a bad rap because of all the reports about this new technology being used to build undetectable firearms. Click here to see an earlier DigiDame post about the evolution of 3D printing. It’s a pretty miraculous technology that we can all use personally.

Today, I learned that the medical world is employing 3D technology to save lives. TechCrunch, a popular tech news site, reported on how 3D printers were used to make an airway tube that saved a 20-month-old baby boy’s life. “After imaging the boy’s faulty windpipe, doctors at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan printed 100 tiny tubes and laser-stitched them together over the trachea.”

The baby suffered from a severe version of tracheobronchomalacia, causing his bronchus to collapse. The doctors surgically sewed the 3D-printed splint onto the child’s airway. As soon as the splint was put in, the lungs started going up and down for the first time. Everyone knew he was going to be okay.

When I watched the video above, I had to take a moment to think about how the baby’s doctor went back to the drawing board to design a custom contraption (I can’t think of a better word to describe the splint) that allowed this baby to breathe on his own. It was the first time this was ever done. I can imagine the celebration in the hospital that day.

3D Printing Gun Control

If you have been listening to the news lately, you have definitely heard that New York Senator Chuck Schumer proposed a bill entitled the “Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act that would ban the 3D printing of guns.” It seems that there are dangerous folks building guns with 3D printers.

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