Introduction: BusStopper, 3D Printed Manually Settable Bus Line Number Signalling for the Blind

This was a challenge presented to me by a Blind man:

1 They hate to have to ask to EVERY Bus passing by, for the Bus's number, and prefer to use a number plate.

So they go out with the plates of the numbers they'll need.

2 But sometimes, they can unexpectedly need a number outside the usual, and so they go back to asking and asking!.

This is an Open Source set of 3D printable parts, that will enable you to make, along with a back plate, a Bus Line number Signalling, that can be be hand set, and re-set at need, for any number up to 199.

1 to 999, if you have 3 complete 7 segments sets! :D

As you might have guessed, this use the 7 segment number display of digital clocks, but, set by hand, so the Blind can change, at any time, the number, for any unexpected new travels.

You can print the 3 back plates and the central element separately, or print a 7 segment complete black plate, as your 3D Printer allows, or you might it done.

It is to be glued and riveted or screwed, and the moving parts can use another 3D printed add-on color plates, or any reflective adherent tape.

So let's see how it works!


A back plate

12 rivets or screws


reflective adherent tape, or 3D printed add-on color plates

Step 1: The 3D Parts

Here's the individual parts:

  • A long segment base, moving part, and tape or color plate
  • A short segment base, moving part, and tape or color plate
  • And a central plate

They are all assembled, and then the set is riveter or screwed to the back plate.

It's 4 long segments, and 3 short ones, (bases and moving parts for each), and a central part, for each digit.

And here's, of course, the 3D files' link!

Notice: If you have a large 3D printer, just use the one piece digit plate.stl, and skip to the digit alignment step, Step 7

Step 2: The Digits

The thing will look like this, showing the plate all blank, and showing numbers up to 199.

All parts turned up, 188.

And you turn them thusly, see Video:

Step 3: Best Printing Position for the Moving Parts

Note, if you print the moving part standing up, the print will best preset the relief stripes as seen in the short segment, so it's felt, by touch, whether the segment has the reflective or the black part showing.

Step 4: Let's Get Started!

If you buy reflective adhesive material, you have to cut it like this:

  • Large moving part cut 69 mm x 11 mm
  • Large base cut 69 mm x 9 mm
  • Small moving part cut 41 mm x 11 mm
  • Small moving cut 41 mm x 9 mm

And then, cut the corners, using a moving part as a template

Step 5: Start Placing the Reflective Parts

Then, it's just a question of gluing the reflective parts

Step 6: All Glued

All done, now, to place the digits on the plate, and for that, we need to line up their alignment...

Step 7: Lines and Lines...

Just start by setting a distance between the digits and the plate's base...

Then, a set square will set the vertical lines, and so you got how to place the digits.

Step 8: Trace the Holes

With a pencil, trace trough the holes of the central parts, the place of the holes on the back plate.

Step 9: Punch a Hole

Punch a guiding hole for the drill, for each hole...

Step 10: Drill, and Get Ready to Screw or Rivet

Drill the holes properly, and either screw or rivet the central plate.

If you use screws, drill a smaller diameter hole, so the screw will grab on the plate, going down!

Step 11: Flip and Glue

Flip the digits, and glue the back of the parts profusely

Step 12: See Trough!

Place the glued digit, and move it until the digit's holes and the plate's holes are aligned, so you see trough them:

Step 13: Screw or Rivet

Systematically fix the digits while the glue is still fresh, and presto!

Step 14: ALL DONE!

Now, it's all assembled, you can train the Visually Impaired into setting the numbers, a Braille table with the relief of the digits will do wonders.

Hope this will empower a lot of people, now! :D