Braille is a form of writing composed of raised dots. It allows blind and visually impaired individuals to read by using their fingers to feel the Braille letters. Many signs today must have Braille to comply with legislation, and in the future we expect almost all signs will be required to have Braille.
For many in the sign making industry putting Braille on signs has always presented a unique challenge. The tiny detailed dots are very time consuming even when using automated techniques such as a router. The solution to this problem is known as Raster Braille. Raster Braille is a method of manufacturing signs with Braille where instead of carving the Braille dots from the piece of material they are inserted. The machine first engraves the holes where the Braille letters will be positioned. Then with the Auto-Raster tool, which fits into the tool holder, the raised dots are inserted. Due to the flexibility of the material being machined, the dots are able to be fit into the small spaces and stay intact.
Not only is this method faster than routing Braille as part of the material but it is also superior in other ways as well. Firstly more regulations are requiring Braille to have a domed shape. This is very hard to do with simply routing them, and would require secondary finishing processes. Secondly, these round spheres can be used with any type of signage because they are not part of the material itself. Therefore they are versatile and can be used across all types of sign manufacturing.