This is an old revision of the document!
This section of my site will deal with making comicbooks accessible for the visually impaired and the blind
I will be going over different scenarios and methods - These I will also post about on my newly created reddit forum
https://reddit.com/r/comicsforblind where I hope to spark discussin on this topic
3D printing is your ideal sidekick when you want to make pages for a comicbook that can be read by the visually impaired.
With 3D printing you can create pages with tactile readability and feedback for visually impaired / blind.
There are different styles in which pages can be created, I will also try to post a few examples as to how you can design pages.
There are furthermore a multitude of tools you can use for modeling your 3D prints - In the section tools I will try to list a few.
Here is an example of a 3D printed comicbook page:
IMAGE 3D PRINTED PAGE
One way to produce pages readable by the visually impaired and blind would be through combining 3D printing and vacuum
True you could do the same with 3D printing alone, however as printing materials cost might be a prohibiting factor in case
you needed to make multiple copies of your comicbook, this section will deal with the combination of the two techniques in
order to give you a cost effective solution as thin polyethylene sheets normally associated with vacuum forming can usually
be obtained quite cheaply, hence cutting your production costs for your comic significantly.
One way to produce a 3D printed comicbook page would be by creating 3D models of the image you wished appeared in the panels
on the page - Then flatten the design of each panel to the intended page depth and then print the design.
You would then follow up with replicating the page using vacuum forming (see vacuum forming).
This is an example of panel on a 3D printed page that has been vacuum formed.
Using one of the techniques, layering or engraving you could create a stand alone page, the techniques will be discussed in
Here again, to save time and cost you can consider vacuum forming if you want to create multiple versions of a page (see
This is an example of a laser engraved panel.
LASER ENGRAVED PANEL IMAGE
Vacuum forming is a type of thermoforming, a sheet of plastic is heated to certain temperature, then stretched onto a the
mold and sucked against the mold by an induced vacuum.
Here is an example of a very rough prototype panel created using vacuum forming and laser cutting techniques.
PANEL PROTOTYPE IMAGE
So you've decided to create a comicbook readable by the visually impaired, but how to create pages?
Using a 3D program you can create pages with relief and textures that will allow a visually impaired to feel the look of the
The relief structures will give the images definition.
At the same time texture can be used to give additional detail to the reader for tactile feedback, you can do this either au
naturel i.e. try to replicate the natural look, or you could do this more symbolicly, imagine different patterns for
different depictions, snow, grass, water, rock etc. what you use all depends upon what style you want to create the pages in.
One example would be a very stylized approach for tactile feedback that you can add to your pages.
As for speechbubbles I would recommend using Braille text, notice there may be different types of Braille depending on where
in the world you may be so please be aware of this.
Also Braille users may use shorthand, this could possibly also be used with success depending on the amount of text etc. in
IMAGE EXAMPLE BRAILLE SPEECHBUBBLES
In addition to the regular pages a descriptive page breaking down panels is a really good idea, you can see these as
descriptions of the action going on on a panel.
For example, “Woman comes running toward a car”, “Man runs away from bear”, “Raindrops trickle down wall, creating a pool
below on the ground”, sunlight reflects in binoculars and so on.
Imagine having a 2D drawing and then fishing out details, one layer at the time, here is a simple paper based version showing
how you could do this.
IMAGE OF LAYERED DRAWING
If working digitally you could easily export each layer and then splice them together either for 3D printing, or for laser
cutting using a number of tools.
Imagine a grayscale image. You would load the image into a slicer - for example Cura, there you will be given an option to go from dark to light, or from light to dark.
Once you choose an option Cura will create a 3D rendition of what it thinks the image should look like in 3D.
This enables you to take the 2D grayscale image and convert it to 3D form, this you can then work on in a modeling tool.
Something similar can be done with a flat SVG image that you would like to create in relief form.
You would simply the import the SVG into a tool like TinkerCAD and then extrude to your intended depth.
You can also create a similar effect to the 3D printing, or the layering technique by using laser engraving, generally color
tones on the image decide how deep the laser burns into the material.
Here is an example of a color toned image and the resulting engraving
TinkerCad is a free webbased tool, originally an acedemic project it was accquired by AutoCAD - It has a simplistic interface
and can be used for both 3D modeling for 3D printing and for laser cutting.
there is a plethora of videos with tutorials on TinkerCAD available out there, the following is just a few to give you an
impression of the versatility
Blender is a free and open source 3D modeling software it allows you to create models and save them to for example STL
format, the format that primarely is used for 3D printing
3D printing Slicers
To be able to 3D print you will need to convert your STL files into socalled GCode