3D Printing Animation!

Posted by on Monday, June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
3D printed zoetrope

3D printed zoetrope

Each of these twelve sections was created with a 3D printer and then put together to show a figure walking.  Old school zoetropes had a thin wall all around the edge with slits through which you can observe the action.  As the zoetrope was rotated, the small glimpses through the holes in the wall would create the illusion of animation.  Newer zoetropes tend to use synchronized strobe lights so that the light comes on for a brief moment exactly when each segment reaches the point in the rotation where the prior segment was when the light was last on.  While still a work in progress the artist, Sam Ellis, has updated his website to show some more pictures and details.  He’s even promised to share the code for his work!

While we’ve seen animation using 3D printing before, this is probably the best example of something we could all be doing with our MakerBots right now.  Here’s what I’m hoping for – a stop motion video or zoetrope with a Gangsta.

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2 Comments so far

  • Mifga
    June 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

    These are really neat — People have been making “sculptural” zoetropes for years and using things like direct-drive turntables to run them. You can actually shoot your Zoetrope with video and tune the frame-rate of the video capture to simulate the blacking intervals of a traditional Zoetrope and get smooth movement.

    This is why these kind of projects have usually pulled in real-time veejay software to offer the control — and simultaneous projection!

    Check out the work of Jim LeFevre, that I have been watching for a while — these techniques could be applied to a 3D printed zoetrope:

  • Unfold
    June 29, 2011 at 7:33 am

    We did something similar a while ago for an exhibition by Joris Laarman. We printed the various topology optimization steps used in creating the famous Bone Chair.
    Prints where done at materialise. For the mechanism we used a record player and the strobe was very simple, we used a cheap IKEA JANSJÖ LEDlamp and added a strobe circuit using some timers and a pot meter to adjust timing PWM style. Send me a message when you want the diagrams.


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