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Fittle, the 3D Braille puzzle, is helping blind children read Braille quickly

March 10, 2018

Fittle is the world's first 3D printed braille puzzle, which is open source. It is helping children, who are blind or have low vision, in India learn to read braille quickly and efficiently.

India has a population of 22 million people who are visually impaired. Many of them are unable to find jobs. The ability to read braille gives them a chance to become independent.

By learning how to read Braille, a blind person's chances of studying further and finding a good job increase by as much as three times.

The problem is that learning Braille is expensive. A digital braille reading device can cost over Rs 60,000. This means that most blind people in developing countries have to manage with learning tools that are outdated and boring to use.

A project in India is trying to change this. It has devised a braille learning tool, called Fittle. Fittle is more accessible, cheaper, and interesting to use.

Fittle is the world's first 3D printed braille puzzle

Fittles are available to download for free from the Fittle website. These files can then be printed for a cheap cost. They are hollow so the material usage is cheaper.

How Fittle works

Every part of the Fittle puzzle has a different letter. Its connected parts spell out a complete word. What is creative and ingenious is that the overall puzzle takes the shape of what is being spelled.

Marks on the pieces help the learner figure out how to fit them together. Once they are in place, it's possible to read and learn the word.

Fittle is the work of Indian designer Tania Jain. Jain has been partnering with LVPEI, a leading eye institute in India, Ravensburger, a German educational toy company, and Serviceplan, a global communication group.

The puzzles are being printed and distributed across India.

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