1st Oct, 2020

Plans pressing ahead for Droitwich student's brilliant Braille idea

Droitwich Editorial 19th Jul, 2018 Updated: 19th Jul, 2018

A DROITWICH Spa High School student made it through to the final of the national Manufacturing Technologies Association’s schools competition with his brilliant Braille invention, writes Sophie Hind.

Dan Plumtre could not think what to design for his year 13 project so he approached his friend who is ‘B1’ blind meaning she can see nothing other than the faint light difference between shadows and sunlight. He asked her if there was anything she needed that he could create and design.

She explained plastic and card braille wore down over time making it difficult for her to understand it long-term.

Dan then, horrified there was nothing specific like this on the market for individuals’ use, went away and created a press that would print braille into sheet metal.

When it was completed, it was described by Droitwich Spa High School’s assistant headteacher Andy Millicheap as ‘a magnificent piece of engineering’.

And the judges at the Technology, Design and Innovation Challenge comeptition clearly agreed, putting him and his design through to the national final which took place at Yamakazi Mazak’s European headquarters in Worcester.

Dan narrowly missed out on a top three finish in the final but has high hopes for his design.

The one he created has been given to his blind friend who inspired it and he is also working with another friend who promotes Braille to find a market for the device.

James Selka, CEO of Manufacturing Technologies Association, said: “Daniel showed real thoughtfulness and imagination in producing his Braille press, which would certainly help improve other people’s quality of life.

“The Technology, Design and Innovation Challenge encourages students to consider the whole manufacturing process, from conception of the idea, through production and how to launch the product to market.”

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