3D Printing/ Additive Manufacturing

How Additive Manufacturing Can Help, not Hinder, Injection Moldability of New Designs

Plastics Technology
September 14, 2022
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While screen readers can help the visually impaired read text, they struggle with figures. There’s nothing a text reader can do to help them visualize graphs and diagrams. All that might be about to change thanks to 3D printing.

When postdoc Matthew Guberman-Pfeffer wants to read a journal article, he has to run through an obstacle course of potential problems. First, the Yale University physical chemist downloads the PDF and copies it into a separate text file. Then, he uses a screen reader to read each sentence aloud, going slowly because the reader often doesn’t recognize complicated scientific terms. Sometimes the column formatting doesn’t copy over correctly and the reader ends up dictating a jumbled mess. Sometimes it includes every single reference number; sometimes it stops midsentence to read out an advertisement.  

But the biggest struggle is always the figures. There’s nothing a text reader can do to help him visualize them. He has some vision, so by magnifying a graph or diagram up to 1000% he can see one tiny fragment of the visual at a time, eventually piecing together a patchwork picture in a process he compares to the story of the blind men and the elephant. But usually it isn’t worth the effort, and he hopes whatever text description the authors gave of the figure is enough.  

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Plastics Technology
Plastics Technology

Plastics Technology provides authoritative content on plastics processing practices, tips, techniques, troubleshooting, technical advances, product developments, market insights, and industry news. Our content is aimed at plastics processors—both custom and captive operations. Our mission, in print, on-line and face-to-face (via our successful annual Molding and Extrusion conferences) is to generate actionable content that the audience can use in the here and now to improve the efficiencies and productivity of their business.

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