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From the Design Media Lab at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, this “crystal zoetrope” technology involves spinning a cylinder of acrylic with internally etched 3D designs. The disk is surrounded by an array of LEDs that can flash in time with the rotation, or slightly asynchronously, to make the designs appear to move in space, and, additionally, to gradually rotate around the center of the cylinder in one direction or the other. The direction and speed of rotation can be controlled by gestural movements on the tabletop. [via Dude Craft]

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • Andy L

    I saw this at SIGGRAPH. Flat images don’t do it justice.

  • Anonymous

    I saw this at SIGGRAPH in New Orleans lots of hot chicks were showing this off

  • Dominic Muren

    This technique for laser etching usually uses optical crystal, not acrylic — each point is actually a tiny fracture where a laser focused and heated the glass beyond its ability to flex. Bathsheba does a longer, better job of explaining it here:

    http://www.bathsheba.com/crystal/process/

    This seems like the sort of process that is begging for a low-fi hack to be developed :) If you want to do this yourself, B. recommends:

    http://www.lasercrystalawards.com/

    Or search for “3d laser etching” in your favorite search engine.