An Introduction to 3D Printing Technology for Accessibility Accommodations


Scheduled at 9:15am in Standley I Lab on Friday, November 17 (2017).



  • Elizabeth Pyatt, Accessibility IT Consultant, Penn State
  • Aaron Knochel, Asst Prof of Visual Arts, Penn State

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lab
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


In this hands-on session, participants will be introduced to several software options for 3D printing design including Tinkercad, Makerbot and other 3D print utilities.


The goal of this lab is to provide a brief introduction to the concepts for 3D design and some easy to use and low cost options to begin 3D print design. Topics will include building models from scratch and adapting model designs from other media. This session presents use cases and design considerations to provide access to image content to users with visual impairments using 3D printing. The pros and cons of 3D printing versus tactile printing or text description for accommodation will be covered.


  1. 3D printing
  2. Visual impairment
  3. STEM and visual arts

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Alternate Format, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Elizabeth Pyatt

Elizabeth Pyatt is currently co-chair of the Accessibility and Information Technology committee and maintains the Penn State accessibility website at

Aaron Knochel

Dr. Aaron D. Knochel completed his doctorate in Art Education at the Ohio State University in 2011 focused on critical media literacy, software studies and art education. He has worked in a variety of visual arts learning spaces including schools, museums, and community arts programs both domestically and internationally. Dr. Knochel has presented his research at a range of national and international conferences including the National Art Education Association National Convention, SIGGRAPH, and at the International Society for Education through Art World Congress in Budapest, Hungary and Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Knochel is currently an Embedded Researcher in the Art & Design Research Incubator in the College of Arts & Architecture. Dr. Knochel's research focuses on the intersections between art education, social theory, and software studies. From community-based media production to engaging digital visual culture in the K-12 art classroom, his interests follow the complexities of civic engagement both through the arts and through network connectivity. Publications include articles in Studies in Art Education, Visual Arts Research, The International Journal of Education through Art, and Kairos. Generally, he tries to live up to his @artisteducator twitter bio: artist-teacher-visual culture researcher-digital media flaneur-novice hacker and pixel stacker.