Caldwell Public Library creates Braille letters using 3D printer

Posted at 1:18 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 10:19:59-04

CALDWELL, Idaho — Gone are the days of silent libraries and librarians shushing patrons to be quiet. At Caldwell Public Library, the gentle hum of 3D printers is commonplace.

Ellie Epperson is the Youth Services supervisor who has been helping create letters for beginning readers.

"People are loving (our 3D printers) right now. People can submit prints for consideration," said Epperson. "We realized right away our community has a need for STEM ideas."

Epperson has made 5 sets of the Braille letters. The stamps will help students learn to read and spell.

"I am making a Braille stamp from a file that was sent to me by the Idaho Stem Action Center on behalf of the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind," she said.

The Idaho Stem Action Center is a state agency focused on STEM education and workforce development. They started the Idaho Makers for Equity Project to better enhance accessibility and inclusion in education.

"Now anyone who has a 3D printer can go on look at the models that the have identified as being needed at their schools," said Program Manager Erica Compton.

It takes about an hour and a half to make a single letter.

Epperson said opening up the world of reading to everyone is what being a librarian is all about.