Steven Mifsud, founder of Direct Access, holds a 3D tactile model replica of a football stadium, with braille-enhanced text underneath which reads "Theatre of Dreams".

3D Printed Tactile Models

A New Pathway to Access

Harnessing the power of 3D technology, our Accessible Media department produces tactile and Braille models enabling blind people to explore the dimensions and flow of buildings, objects, or animals that may not easily be described.

Normally, apart from domesticated creatures, the animal kingdom is mostly ‘out of reach’ or at the very least limited, if a person’s main senses are touch, smell, taste, and hearing. Unlocking the experience of the animal kingdom for Blind and DeafBlind people, 3D models allow the ‘touch’ sense to take center stage – making them ideal for application in nature parks, zoos, and aquariums since most people learn about wildlife from pictures in books, images online, and from documentaries or YouTube videos.

The possibilities do not end there – 3D tactile models are especially useful in situations where objects are so big, such as a building. Or where historical artifacts cannot be explored by touch, such as museum exhibits.

In a world where sight is the predominant sense utilized for interpretation, 3D models allow objects to become inclusive by taking advantage of people’s other senses.

Designed by the Accessible Media team in partnership with registered blind staff members, our tactile models can be printed with braille interpretation alongside the model itself upon request, further enhancing the interpretation of the bust, appealing to the user’s imagination, and painting a true picture of the natural world’s wonders.

From Design to Delivery

In order to perfect the most minute details of the oft-complex busts, our 3D models undergo multiple phases before delivery to our clients.

Concept – The client provides blueprints, which are then reviewed by members of our Accessible Media team.

Design – The blueprints are delivered to our Graphic Design team, who analyse the drawing and duplicate it.

Review – The finalised concept undergoes QC checks by the Accessible Media team.

Creation – The Design Team finalises the braille interpretation of the bust before transference to our 3D-printing machines, turning the 2D drawing into a fully accessible, tactile sculpture.

A man in a green polo shirt wearing gloves reaches into a large 3D printer to ready the space for construction of a 3D model.

3D Printed

Tactile Models

Tactile Braille Map Board displaying a museum map and key, featuring QR codes that link to audio description and sign language videos in a warmly lit building.

Tactile Braille

Map Boards

Direct Access transparent logo.

68 Harrison Avenue,
6th Floor,
MA 02111.


4600 140th Avenue North,
Suite 180,
FL 33762.

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