3D Printing Animation!

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.