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Help with braille printer project

N

NewsClient

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hello all,

I have a five year old son who is blind. I am working on a project to make a
Braille printer for him, so we can 'translate' a lot of childrens books to
Braille. I have most of what I need figured out, running a PIC
microprocessor from a serial connection or parallel connection (supports
both, using a PIC 16f877 because I had them onhand.) What I need to figure
out it the best method for actuating a 'punch'.

If you are not familiar with it, Braille is a 3x2 cell (matrix) of raised
dots. Dot size is approx. 0.45 mm, with 2.2 mm intercell. Something like
**
**
**

where each * is a dot.

I have looked at two main ideas, one as a dot-matrix type printer, the other
as a 'typewriter' or 'daisy-wheel' printer. I am trying to determine the
best 'actuator' to pound the punch into the paper. I want to be able to
support clear plastic (known as Shrinky Dink or Grafix Shrink Film). This is
pretty sturdy stuff, so the 'pound mechanism' will have to be fairly robust
to stand up more than a week. :)

Yes, they do make these already. They sell for between $3K and $6K US. I am
saving up to get him one eventually, but am trying to do a little now with
what skills and tools I have available...plus, this is a great learning
experience on how to make these things (no, he does not use the soldering
iron, I do that.)

Please note, if the design works well, and is easy, I will post it public
domain for others to use.

Thanks for any ideas/concepts/opinions you would like to share on this
project.

Jonathan
 
D

david

Jan 1, 1970
0
I have a five year old son who is blind. I am working on a project to make
a Braille printer for him, so we can 'translate' a lot of childrens books
to Braille. I have most of what I need figured out, running a PIC
microprocessor from a serial connection or parallel connection (supports
both, using a PIC 16f877 because I had them onhand.) What I need to figure
out it the best method for actuating a 'punch'.

If you are not familiar with it, Braille is a 3x2 cell (matrix) of raised
dots. Dot size is approx. 0.45 mm, with 2.2 mm intercell. Something like
**
**
**

where each * is a dot.

I have looked at two main ideas, one as a dot-matrix type printer, the
other as a 'typewriter' or 'daisy-wheel' printer. I am trying to determine
the best 'actuator' to pound the punch into the paper. I want to be able
to support clear plastic (known as Shrinky Dink or Grafix Shrink Film).
This is pretty sturdy stuff, so the 'pound mechanism' will have to be
fairly robust to stand up more than a week. :)

Yes, they do make these already. They sell for between $3K and $6K US. I
am saving up to get him one eventually, but am trying to do a little now
with what skills and tools I have available...plus, this is a great
learning experience on how to make these things (no, he does not use the
soldering iron, I do that.)

Please note, if the design works well, and is easy, I will post it public
domain for others to use.

Thanks for any ideas/concepts/opinions you would like to share on this
project.

Jonathan
great plan. my only input is to suggest you find a friend with engineering
skills
the repetive movments will cause wear where you dont want it making the
braille slowly change.
Im in the uk. sussex. if i can help with the pic stuff I would be glad too.
perhaphs a post in the cnc machining groups may help "alt.machines.cnc."

all the best David
 
N

NewsClient

Jan 1, 1970
0
Good idea...I'll check in the CNC group as well. Once I get a little farther
along, I'll open a forum on my web server, and post the code, schematics,
etc...let everyonce take a poke. :)

Thanks for the input!

Jonathan
 
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