We all have at some point of our lives relished a moment of two. There are memories dear to us that we all wish to relive. We often revisit them by looking at old photographs, smiling and recollecting those memories. But is there any way for the visually impaired to revisit old memories in the same way as we do? That’s another use of 3D printing technology - Tactile photographs that let the visually impaired can experience old memories.

The instant pleasure we get from buying an object will never go away until the object can be 3D printed in a matter of seconds. 3D Printers are all hype, but still a few more years away from mainstream adoption. In the future, such printers will be able to recreate organ and tissues, produce food and manufacture major retail products. One company has found an amazing way to celebrate the wonders of 3D printing: Touchable Photographs.

Spain-based creative agency named LOLA, has created a beautiful social experiment called “Touchable Memories”, where photographs come to life for the visually impaired. The project is their latest campaign for Pirate3D - a Singapore based 3D printing company that offers a glimpse into how innovative use of technology can be used for the melioration of mankind. As a part of the novel project, the creative agency utilizes Pirate3D’s most stellar product Buccaneer to re-create old memories (photographs) into 3D printed memoirs.

Touchable Memories tells the story of five visually impaired people, all from various corners of the world. The five participants were asked to describe a special moment in their lives that was important to them and was also captured in a photograph. The response included first shot of a movie that was made by a movie director to the memory of a father throwing his child up in the air.

Pirate3D re-created these memories by transforming the old photographs into 3D printed memoirs. Touchable Memories project has been shared in a documentary shot by a Brazilian filmmaker Marco Aslan has been shared on the Pirate3D website. The aim of the project was to demonstrate how 3D printing technology can go mainstream by becoming a precious part of our personal lives and enrich it in its own little ways.

Imagine the endless possibilities 3D printing technology holds in our future lives.  It could enrich the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s helping them reconnect with their past, or those suffering from dementia.  The question remains – will 3D printing ever become affordable for it to go mainstream?