What is it?
This is a custom designed 3D Periodic Table in Braille. It is designed to help a vision impaired student to use the table as it is supposed to be used. Many visually impaired students only have a simple list of the elements. The Periodic Table was originally designed in such a way that it helps scientists understand the commonalities between elements and also the reactivity of each group. A list of elements can not give students the same understanding as the full Periodic Table can. This Periodic Table consists of the element number and symbol written in Braille, the vertical height differences depict the different sub-sets of elements. This makes teaching the chemistry behind the elements much simpler.
What makes it better?
I did a bit of research prior to spending the time designing this and I could find some large posters of the Periodic Table in Braille, but they were not really portable because of their size and I was unsure how long the Braille would last on a poster and spending the money to buy one only to have to replace it after a bit of use concerned me. So having access to a 3D printer I set about designing this in MinecraftEdu. It has since been completely redesigned from the ground up based on customer feedback to make the Braille much closer to standard Braille sizing, which makes it easier to read.
My main goals were to include the elements, the layout, the sub-sets as per the Chemistry teachers need and also maintain a good level of portability. The finished product fits all of these goals. When together it is approximately 45cm across, 16cm deep and 2cm high. For portability it splits into 2 halves, each around 22.5cm in length. The Periodic Table is packaged in a 23.5cm by 16.7cm box with foam protecting each piece to allow safe transport.