I have a friend who lost his sight a few years ago, and it got me thinking about how much that must really suck. I use my eyes all the time, I don't know what I would do without them, he must miss out on so much. I sure would like to make his life easier some how.....
We were taking and for what every reason the subject of rubik's cube came up. Not only had he never seen one, when he did have his sight, but he didn't know what a rubiks cube is. You try and explain a rubik's cube to a blind man. So I thought how about a make a braille rubiks cube for him and then he wont have to miss out on all the frustration exasperation, annoyance, anger, vexation, irritation, bitterness, resentment; disappointment and discouragement that comes with trying to solve that infernal puzzle.
Step 1: Stuff You Will Need
You don't realy need too much stuff, Just a rubiks cube, some double sided automotive tape, some alcohol to clean the cube and 3D printed tiles. There are nine tiles on each side so 54 tiles in all.
You will also need a sharp hobbie knife and a board to cut on and a clean well lit work area.
Step 2: Preparing the Tiles
I found sticking the tiles in a line on the double sided tape and then cutting the tape square with a knife worked quit well. It is a fiddle job but using a sharp hobbie knife, and a cutting board helped to keep the tape tidy and square. Just cut the tape around all 54 tiles and they will be ready fro the next step.
Step 3: Stick the Tiles to Your Cube
If your cube has colored stickers on it you might want to remove
them, my cube has colored plastic panels, which are not going to fall off. Next give every thing a good clean with some alcohol and start sticking the tiles on. I set this cube up like a dice so the opposite sides add up to seven. So the one dots and opposite the six dots, the twos are opposite the fives. and the threes and fours are opposite each other.
The hardest part of the project is getting all the tiles straight. When you first stick them one you can push the tile around a little to get it in the right position, but the glue on the tape will quickly set so best to carefully position tile straight as you can when you first drop them on the cube.
Step 4: What's a Blind Man Think of a Rubiks Cube?
Well my friend thought it was great that someone made something especially for him, but has he has never learned braille he found it difficult to identify the dots on each side. But after 10 minutes or so he began to get the hang of it, and soon figure out that the centre square doesn't move, and the cube soon got mixed up pretty quickly as he discovered how it works.
So why would you make a project like this? Doing something for someone less fortunate than you is good for your soul, it lifts your mood, make you feel better about yourself, is way cheaper than a visit to the shrink, and has less side affects than medication.
Update... I'm chuffed that this little project has generated so much interest, 3D print.com wrote an article about it. Very cool.