Crayolascope turns flat displays into volumetric coolness

[Blair] sent in a project he’s been working on for a while. It’s called the Crayolascope, and it allows for the creation of an extremely low-fi volumetric display using a Crayola Glow book.

The Crayola Glow Book is a pretty neat toy composed of four clear plastic panels. Each of these four panels are illuminated from the side to reveal the image drawn with fluorescent ‘glow pens’. [Blair] had the idea to take several of these Glow Books and draw a rudimentary 3D animation by sequentially lighting one of the 12 plastic panels.

After tracing single frames from a rotating cube animation, the Crayolascope pages through the plastic panel-based 3D display with the help of an Arduino Mega. For each frame of animation, the Arduino illuminates a single display with edge-mount LEDs. Of course there’s a control panel to regulate how fast the frames are shown, along with the ability to scrub a frame and apply a fade effect.

[Blair] admits there are a few problems; there’s a lot of internal reflections in the array of clear plastic sheets, and frames near the end of an animation are really only observable in a very dark room. [Blair] hopes the next version of the Crayolascope will use thinner plastic panels to increase the depth of the animations – a solution that may just solve the decreasing brightness of ‘deeper’ panels.



  1. UltraApple says:

    That is really cool. I think that if each panel had the edges wrapped in electrical tape it would solve much of the internal reflection issues…

  2. pyrobutters says:

    Wicked cool,just need to get some lcd computer monitors in this config for perhaps for better resolution. Great job

  3. waruwaru says:

    We just need a stack of those transparent display to make a real good 3D display

  4. Hirudinea says:

    Didn’t someone use a technique similar to this to create a fake Nixie tube display? (Cause if they didn’t its an idea.)

  5. Shaggy says:

    make sure to use a clear resin with the same refractive index as the display and then the internal reflection is negated.

  6. Haku says:

    Ugh, I hate Vimeo, the bloody video never plays when I click the link, all I get is a still from the video any no video player – even though I’ve turned off all script/ad blocking for that site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,459 other followers