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National Runner Up

Project Mimir

Project Mimir is an innovative and accessible Braille embosser, designed to empower the visually impaired community through seamless and affordable printing of Braille reading materials.

  • The Mimir embosser

  • Project Mimir in action!

    Project Mimir in action!

  • Sample of braille produced

  • Project poster

  • CAD of our working model

What it does

Project Mimir is a Braille embosser that converts text into Braille, providing a cost-effective solution for visually impaired individuals to produce Braille materials independently, addressing the lack of affordable and accessible Braille printing options.

Your inspiration

Our team was inspired to solve the problem of limited access to Braille materials, which is a crucial aspect of education and communication for the visually impaired community. We found that many Braille embossers on the market were expensive and inaccessible, and we wanted to develop an affordable and user-friendly solution that would enable visually impaired individuals to produce Braille materials independently. Our goal was to create a design that would not only solve a pressing problem but also empower visually impaired individuals to become more independent and self-sufficient.

How it works

The Mimir embosser is a modified 3D printer that uses existing outputs to control solenoid actuators in the embosser head, carriage movement, as well as paper feed and ejection. The embosser head carriage and paper feeder precisely control the positioning of the embosser and paper. The embosser uses a custom G-Code slicer to convert text into Braille. The G-Code slicer takes into account Braille's unique formatting and syntax, ensuring that the resulting Braille output is legible and in accordance with Braille standards. The user interface of the software, "Mimir Slicer", is simple and intuitive to use, allowing users to connect to the machine via USB and input text to be embossed via a computer. Mimir Slicer is designed to be entirely keyboard-accessible and comes with a number of features, such as being able to translate a number of file formats (PDF, Word, etc.) into Braille as well as having a built-in voice-to-text module for custom text input.

Design process

Our members are active in Maker communities, with a baseline level of familiarity with the tech involved. The idea of Project Mimir was born after a conversation on accessible tech and its impact on marginalised groups. We looked around for opinions from visually handicapped people on places such as Instagram, TikTok, r/blind, and saw that accessible tech for visually handicapped people was lacking. We had an idea, but we needed to make sure it was mechanically feasible first. We made small test cells to ensure that our mechanical design was sound, before attaching them to an electrical debugger to test code and wiring. Throughout this process, we consulted our professors to ensure that we were on the right track. When we had a minimum viable product, we brought it to the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) to get some user feedback, where we learnt more about the concerns and paradigms of visually handicapped people. Since we were able-bodied, we needed the input of our target audience to ensure that we were really designing for their needs. We eventually added an automated paper feed system and improved the user interface based on feedback from our friends over at SAVH.

How it is different

Project Mimir stands out from other similar products because of its unique approach to Braille embossing. While most Braille embossers on the market are expensive and difficult to use, Project Mimir is a low-cost and user-friendly solution that utilizes a modified 3D printer and actuators to produce precise and accurate Braille output. Project Mimir's affordability and accessibility make it a game-changer for the visually impaired community, who have historically faced significant barriers to accessing Braille materials. By enabling visually impaired individuals to produce Braille materials independently, Project Mimir empowers them to access information and education in a more efficient and effective way.

Future plans

Our immediate goal is to create a simple "upgrade kit" that can convert an Ender 3 printer that a user may already have into a Mimir Printer, making it even more accessible. We are also focused on improving the software, with a more accessible UI for seamless operation. In addition to these improvements, we are working to optimise our backend slicing and machine control process to ensure that prints are as fast as possible, without sacrificing quality. This will make the embossing process even more efficient and accessible for the visually impaired community.


Project Mimir won the "Best Prototype" award, an award recognising ‘excellent use of engineering principles’, at the SUTD 30.007 Exhibition 2022, which showcased the design projects of students taking the Singapore University of Technology and Design’s 30.007 Engineering Design Innovation module in 2022.

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