I’ve all the time considered 3D modeling — and by extension, 3D printing — as a visible medium. Whereas 3D-printed objects are actually bodily, the complete software program chain that results in them exists solely within the digital world. So my assumption was that, sadly, this passion shouldn’t be viable for those that reside with visible impairments. However Redditor Mrblindguardian proved me flawed by creating an AI-based workflow that lets him mannequin and 3D print his personal customized designs, equivalent to a one-winged dragon.
Along with the apparent challenges, this comes with some difficulties that our sighted readers might not be conscious of. Now we have language to explain what we see, however that doesn’t maintain the identical that means to individuals who have by no means been capable of see.
For instance, contemplate a query posed by William Molyneux in 1688: “Might a blind particular person, upon instantly gaining the flexibility to see, acknowledge an object by sight that he’d beforehand identified by really feel?”
In 2011, researchers at MIT answered that query by testing the premise within the real-world utilizing topics that acquired sight-restoration procedures. The outcomes confirmed that tactile understanding didn’t carry over to the visible world. This could offer you some perception into the challenges Mrblindguardian confronted.
His resolution is ingenious and takes benefit of AI instruments that solely lately turned obtainable. Mrblindguardian begins by typing out an outline of what he thinks a dragon appears like, with the assistance of googled descriptions. He then makes use of Luma AI’s Genie service to generate a 3D mannequin primarily based on that description.
To confirm that the mannequin “appears” proper with out the flexibility to see it, Mrblindguardian takes screenshots of the generated 3D mannequin and feeds these to ChatGPT to explain. If the AI-generated description matches his expectations, then he is aware of that the mannequin appears proper—at the least to ChatGPT. If it doesn’t, he can refine his Luma AI Genie immediate and repeat that course of till the outcomes are passable.
With an acceptable STL file, Mrblindguardian can then use slicing software program that’s appropriate with display screen readers. To get a greater sense of what’s on display screen, he may also have ChatGPT generate descriptions from screenshots. One he’s proud of the outcomes, Mrblindguardian can ask a sighted pal to confirm that the file is able to print. In that case, he can print it after which course of it by really feel.
This can be a laborious course of, nevertheless it works. Mrblindguardian used it to 3D-print this tradition one-winged dragon, bringing a creature from his creativeness into the real-world the place he can really feel it himself.
I can’t assist however really feel tremendously impressed and impressed by Mrblindguardian’s achievement, and I hope that others are capable of make the most of this workflow to provide their very own designs.