Tactile Assisted Design: Four Forces of Flight - SCOPES Digital Fabrication

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Liz Whitewolf
Liz Whitewolf
Liz Whitewolf has a passion for integrating digital fabrication technologies equitably in schools for students, teachers, and other stakeholders in formal and informal education. Formerly the K-12 Education Director for Fab Foundation, Liz is now the Founding Director of eduFAB,… Read More


Students who are blind and visually impaired oftentimes can’t participate in computer aided design (CAD) and digital fabrication activities because high detail screen work is a challenge. For those students to participate in whole-class lessons with the laser cutter and vinyl cutter, we developed a process called tactile assisted design (TAD). This process uses touch and hand- design tools and tactile techniques that are then digitized for computer aided manufacturing (CAM). These inclusion techniques can be used for early learners as well others who have trouble interacting with a computer. The below lesson was used with middle school aged students with low vision to design and build their own gliders using the vinyl cutter and the laser cutter.


In this lesson, students will engage in the TAD process while learning about the four forces of flight.