Images via scanning laser excitation of glow-in-the-dark paint

Craft & Design Science Technology

My best days at Make: Online come when I see a new process, something at once so simple that I can’t believe I never thought of it myself, and so impressive in its results that my head just overflows with creative possibilities that weren’t there before. Today has been a very good day. First there was Isaac Salazar’s clever book-folding trick, and now there’s this delicious slice of wicked from Daito Manabe: Scan a laser across a phosphorescent screen to create glowing, haunting images that slowly fade into blackness.

Joseph Thibodeau writes:

As evidenced in the test videos, the bursts of laser scanning are matched to the fade rate of the paint. Therefore it would seem that the time taken to “write” an image is directly proportional to the desired visual persistence of the final image. We wonder, by combining clever timing and variable laser intensity could you write images much more quickly? How hard would it be to use this for moving pictures? With the ability to create your own tiny laser projector, and even an RGB scanner, there must be a lot of potential in this idea for mind-blowing visual effects. Add portability by using a phosphor-treated projection screen!

[via Hack a Day]


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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 My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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