The Portabraille Printer, outside
The Portabraille Printer solenoid tips punching a piece of paper
The Portabraille Printer interface
The bank of mounted solenoids on the Portabraille Printer
The Portabraille Printer printing a sheet of braille

We’re team dot dot dot, and we created

Portabraille, a portable braille printer!

We created the Portabraille Printer with those who are visually impaired in mind.


We designed with along with users and, following their feedback, made sure to keep the Portabraille Printer portable, accurate, light, fast, and cheap.

The Portabraille Printer takes in a text file, converts it to braille, and embosses a sheet of paper with the converted braille.


First, users input their file either via a USB port or over the printer's wireless network. Once the file is loaded, users can use the interface to control the print. When the print is started, the chosen file is converted into printable braille!

Next, the printer loads in a sheet of paper using a stepper motor attached to paper rollers. Fourteen solenoids anchored to a carriage move along a single axis, punching each dimple. The solenoids and motors are controlled by a custom PCB designed in-house.

Finally, the Portabraille Printer spits out a page of freshly printed braille, ready for the reading.


For a more detailed look at what the printer does and how we built it, feel free to check out our system overview, our process overview, and our blog!

This project was created as part of Principles of Engineering, a course at Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA.


Thanks to the Fall 2019 Principles of Engineering Teaching Team, Professors Aaron Hoover, Amon Millner, Siddhartan Govindasamy and Stan Reifel for their support and assistance throughout this process. Additionally, thank you to the Visually Impaired and Blind User Group for hosting us and letting us pick their brains regarding our printer and braille in general.