Laser-etched LED zeotrope looks like a circular monochrome screen

The still image of this animated display really doesn’t do it justice. But you can get an idea of how this really does look like an old monochrome display. It’s actually a zeotrope made from LEDs and etched acrylic. The LEDs blink at a rate that synchronizes with the spinning acrylic to produce an animated image.

You probably already know that a zeotrope uses moving physical models to trick the eye into seeing an animation. In this case the models are etched into a piece of acrylic so that their outline glows when the material is edge-lit. Twelve pie piece shaped panes were designed in Inkscape to look like a scene from the Linux game World War IV. A stepper motor spins the ring which allows for the perfect synchronization seen in the clip after the break.


  1. says:

    oe eo oe eo oe eo well, which is it?

  2. Ned says:

    It’s zoetrope :)

  3. ChalkBored says:

    Also, it’s World War VI.
    Like vi the text editor.

  4. jv4779 says:

    The game is Word War VI. It is based on the epic struggle of VI and Emacs editors to control user space.

  5. code says:

    I love it

  6. Miroslav says:


  7. rasz says:

    weee weeee weeeee
    cant stand that noise

  8. Bear Naff says:

    Extra props to this guy. Tx/Rx Labs in Houston has been in the middle of a move – during which this guy has done tons of work. I’m guessing that this might be getting done as a gift to another member, who programmed WordWar VI.

    Either way, it’s frigging awesome.

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