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Friday, January 6th, 2023 3:00 PM

News: 3D printing allows blind chemists to visualize scientific data


A team led by Baylor University biochemist Bryan Shaw has created 3D printing techniques to convert scientific images into thin 3D constructions called lithophanes, which present high-resolution data in a form that visually impaired people can interpret. 

Hoby Wedler, a chemist and entrepreneur who was born blind, comments, ‘Chemistry is not a visual science. As much as people try to tell us, nobody can see atoms. Chemistry is a cerebral science. The hardest part of studying chemistry for me, especially in the academic setting, is getting visual material from the literature or from textbooks or even PowerPoint presentations, into my mind – doing the chemistry is the easy part. The other hard part is getting my data back out into the into the world.’

Did you know – You can print to 3D direct from ChemDraw using the 3MF file output. Possibly more useful, though, is the ability to copy a 3D model of your molecule as a 3MF object directly from ChemDraw with the 3D clean-up function and paste an interactive, animatable 3D model inside a PowerPoint presentation. How cool is that? 


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