|Cotan's Still-life with Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber (Spain, 1600)|
|Photo detail of the tactile graphic melon, courtesy of Touch Graphics, Inc.|
|Team working at APH on exhibit, courtesy of Touch Graphics, Inc.|
- Using a provided graphic file, we printed the graphic on heavy-duty vinyl using our Roland UV printer, in color, to make the base of the pattern.
- Each piece of vegetation (quince, cucumber, melon) was originally carved by an artist. These pieces were sent to us by Touch Graphics.
- Our model maker took one of the printed sheets and carefully trimmed around the printed forms to cut openings in the sheet. He then used the trimmed sheet as a template to locate each piece of vegetation on the vacuum form pattern in correct proximity to each other and in correct proximity to the perimeter of the vacuum form pattern.
- The molds of the vegetation were then affixed to the vacuum form pattern with brads, or small nails.
- Finally, the pattern was vacuum formed. Vacuum forming is a process where thin sheets of plastic are heated and then pulled down over the vacuum form mold using a vacuum pump to create three-dimensional tactile features to an otherwise flat sheet. Care must be taken to heat all areas of the sheet evenly for a crisp, defect-free mold of the sheet. Great care is also taken to maintain registration between the printed form and the tactile form.
- Four good final products were sent back to Touch Graphics.
|Finished exhibit panel in use, courtesy of Touch Graphics, Inc.|