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This spring, 20 first-year students at Allegheny College will found a business offering free 3D printing support to the blind.

Last year, I had the privilege of working with two students on a software project titled Operation Stick Figure Army. OSFA translates 2D images into 3D prints. Their software, which is free and open, was designed to support blind students in the classroom. You may not have realized that every time a teacher doodles a picture on the board, that is ideally translated into something that a blind student can then interact with in a tactile manner.

Commercial printers that are able to do this cost thousands of dollars and are closed solutions that are often difficult to work with. Next semester, along with 20 amazing first-year students enrolled in Making the Future at Allegheny College, we're going to work on turning OSFA into a 3D printing service that we can freely offer year-after-year to students and educators alike.

Our Kickstarter campaign will support the purchase of a Makerbot Thing-O-Matic, a next generation, open source 3D printer, which is a critical component in this endeavor.


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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    3 backers

    At the $10 level, your support will be recognized on our website.

  • Pledge $30 or more
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    2 backers

    At the $30 level, you'll receive a certificate (printed on fancy paper) signed by the entire team as well as AN ORIGINAL STICK FIGURE from the stick figure army!

  • Pledge $60 or more
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    2 backers

    At the $60 level, you'll receive acks online, the team-signed certificate (same fancy paper), an original stick figure, AND a 3D print made through the same process we'll be using to support educators and students.

Funding period

- (32 days)