Before Film There Were Zoetropes. Now We Have 3D Printed Zoetropes!

Reddit user [eyelandarts] has produced a rather unique 3D printing project. A 3D printed Zoetrope.

You see, a zoetrope was a device that created an animation effect that pre-dates film technology. It would create the illusion of motion much like a flip book does, but with a spinning cylindrical wall with slots cut into it. As the cylinder spins, you catch a glimpse of the animation through the slots. But, it’s just a 2-dimensional animation — what if you replaced it with an ever changing 3D model?

It’s actually been done before. A long time ago in fact. In 1887, [Etienne-Jules Marey] created a large zoetrope to animate plaster models of a bird in flight. Fast forward to today, and [eyelandarts] has 3D printed something similar — but ditched the cylindrical wall. Instead, a strobe light is used to see the animation!

The end result is quite awesome if we do say so our-selves. For another fun take on Zoetropes — how about a digital one made out of tiny LCD screens?

Siezure-warning… there’s a very flash-tastic demo gif embedded after the break if you’re brave enough to view such a thing.

3D Printed Zoetropes

[via reddit]

15 thoughts on “Before Film There Were Zoetropes. Now We Have 3D Printed Zoetropes!

  1. The seizure warning is nice and will probably work when this post gets to the second page and becomes weirdly elongated but it’s pretty useless right now. Unfortunately, this is when the majority of viewers will see it. Perhaps you can find a better way to warn your epileptic users?

      1. I think the text warning is great but if you’re like me and access through the “FROM THE BLOG” section on the main HACKADAY page the “read more” comes way before the warning. You’re left with warning text just slightly above the image, something that is really only effective if you’re a *very* slow scroller.

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