3D printed zoetrope

Normally, 29 men walking around in an endless circle would be the stuff  of an [M.C. Escher] engraving. [Tobias] turned this into a reality with a little help from some LEDs and a 3D printer.

Like his earlier project, [Tobias] built himself a nice little strobing zoetrope that maintains the illusion of movement by flashing LEDs at precise intervals. Instead of a flat 2D image, [Tobias] went for a walking 3D figure that marches to the beat of a timer circuit. The figures themselves were printed via Shapeways.

The electronics were improved for this iteration. Formerly, [Tobias] used a 555 and a whole bunch of auxiliary components. The circuit was improved for this version to uses Schmitt triggers and an optical encoder. The easy-to-build-on-perfboard schematics and layouts are available, so feel free to build one for yourself.

[Tobias]‘ zoetrope isn’t much different from the gigantic Charon sculpture seen at last year’s Burning Man. Sure, it’s not 40 feet tall but it’s still a nice piece of work.

25 thoughts on “3D printed zoetrope

    1. Hateqs? what haters?

      All the comments on the zoetrope have been positive.

      I think it’s great, I’m reminded of a similar zoetrope of walking matchtick men on a large disc which was also ‘animated’ through strobe lighting, it had the men walking down invisible stairs.

  1. Awesome stuff. Would love to have one of these. Shouldn’t cost more than a few bucks if made in Hong Kong :D

    @HAD..
    I had to laugh :)

  2. thanks for the comments
    I aimed for easy and cheap reproduction with the drehkino design. It has a minimum of mechanics and electronics.

    The 3D printed disk is expensive though.

    You guys are declining: in last drehkino project, porn was already mentioned in the 3rd comment.

  3. I think it’s a very amazing project and animation, one of the best zootropes I’ve ever seen.

    Congratulations and greetings from sunny Spain.

  4. to make this all the more awesome
    1.motorize it
    2.put the encoder on the backside
    3.put the flashing leds on the perimeter, so the it’s an 360 wheel of endlessly walking men
    4. put clock in the now unused middle
    5. ???
    6. profit

  5. Seriously awesome project, but that was a lot of material! For those with a lower budget who might be interested in 3d printed zoetropes I would look into something like a 200mm case fan as a starting point for the rig. You could print the animation as new fan blades and the whole thing would spin when blown with air/could be run @ 3600rpm to achieve ~60fps. Remember, a zoetrope does not have to be in a vertical configuration!

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