Controlling Light with 3d printed light pipes

Disney Research began developing the technology to 3d print curved display surfaces using a special translucent filament for embedded fiber optic like strands. Curved 3d optic displays can both display information and sense touch. See the video below from Disney:

The Concept – Using this research, We set out to print our own curved displays along with different topographies. We  wanted to recreate these experiments utilizing only fiber optic cable and 3d printing the tubes necessary to thread the cable through.



The Build – We used Rhino to design our concepts. We designed a cube, a small cup, and ultimately a “naked” frame where you could see the actual fiber optic cable. The resolution and density of the fiber optics highly depends on the resolution of the 3d printer.


Conclusion – The build worked but we realized the light source for this to work in a daytime setting would be prohibitive. In a dimmer setting, the print worked well as you can see in the below video. We would like to continue this process and increase the resolution and start implementing other devices like mobile devices to sit below the object and create more playful objects that have interactivity.


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