It is often hard for blind children to conceptualize movement, especially that which occurs naturally or is challenging to feel or touch due to scale or inaccessibility. We visited The Perkins School for the Blind, but we noticed that their classroom models were static and demonstrated no motion. Drawn to the anatomical models, we chose to create an anatomically correct beating heart. We decided on the heart because it is one of the more important and complex human organs.
We used a FormLabs 3D printer to create an accurate heart modeled in flexible resin, and used a laser cutter to create mechanisms to operate it. Our heart had two separate chambers, and using motors and a simple piston system to actuate the walls of the heart we achieved a beating motion. Pumps were used to pump air out of the arteries and take in air from the veins.
Finally, to hide some of the mechanics, we placed the heart in a simple chest cavity with foam lungs to hide the pumps and power.