LSU students help visually impaired children with 3D printing

LSU students help visually impaired children with 3D printing
Updated: Jun. 14, 2018 at 2:34 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Deven Kemnitc loves science.

"Immerse yourself, so to speak, in that feeling of your own knowledge, and sort of push forward the boundaries of what people know," he said, talking about his passion for learning.

Now he gets to use his passion to help his fellow students at the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired (LSVI). Kemnitc suffers from nystagmus, which is a condition in which the eyes make uncontrolled movements, diminishing vision.

Despite this, he's discovered a talent for engineering and 3D printing. "You can pretty much create anything, and that's what makes it almost wondrous to me," Kemnitc said.

Macie Coker is an engineering student at LSU. She and other students heard about a problem with eye glasses at LSVI. Many kids with partial blindness require glasses just to get through the day. Whenever students accidentally break them, they can go long periods of time in need.

"They don't have to have tape on their glasses for two and three weeks' periods of time," said Heather Lavender, an employee at LSU who helped start the project. "Or each time they bend down to look at something, their glasses, it's not falling off of their face."

So they came up with the idea of 3D printing. Students can get the design of their frames saved on a computer, and whenever their glasses break, the printer can remake the glasses in about four hours, as opposed to the days-long process of getting new glasses.

"Scan each pair of child's glasses as they come into the school," Coker said. "So that way, that way they already had that file saved and in the event that it breaks, they can immediately go to the printer, and print it from the scan that they already had."

That's where Deven comes in. He's the first student to learn how to operate the machine. That way, he can make new glasses for his fellow students. Deven plans on teaching other students as well, ensuring whenever an accident does happen, students can get their glasses easily replaced.

"I felt like it would be something fun to do, take a little bit of time out of my day to help those students," he said.

Kemnitc is going into his junior year. He plans on pursuing a career in engineering.

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