A Swell New Purchase

As part of the project we’ve been looking at different ways we can introduce tactile opportunities within the museums.

So we were really excited when a large parcel arrived at our office.

The swell printer allows us to make raised images to help interpret objects on display that can’t be touched.

It works using specially designed paper that reacts with heat.   You just print out your image onto the paper using a normal printer, then pass it through the heater as you would a laminator.  Then the magic happens!


The black inky lines react with the heat and swell up, making raised lines on the paper.

It has allowed us to enhance our touch tours and provide a bank of images that can be used again and again.  It’s a really great way of communicating patterns, textures and shapes of objects that we are not allowed to touch.   It is also a really quick process, allowing us to react to visitors’ needs, as and when required.

We’re still learning about how to create the best images that work well for the audience – but we’re getting a lot of positive feedback from  our users.

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