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3D Printed Zoetrope


3Drehkino took an animation from Blend Swap, 3D printed it with Shapeways, hacked some electronics and created his own zeotrope. Everything is available under a CC license. Filed under awesome.

3Drehkino writes:

The first drehkino v1 was a unique design and used a 555 for the timing of the LED pulses, the rebuild has several advantages: a simpler circuit (just one IC), use of standard parts and a simple mechanical construction. Every information to rebuild is available on this website. I put together some kits with everything included, but you find every file and source here to make your own PCB or build it up on perfboard.

The generator on this website adds great flexibility to this toy making it easy to produce selfmade disks by simply uploading image sequences and getting a pdf in return that can be printed out. A couple of disks are available in the gallery, but the best cartoon disks are missing because of copyright issues, so please go aheed and snip out the best scenes of your favorite cartoons and do it yourself.

Latest addition is the 3Drehkino disk showing a small figure (ca. 18mm tall) walking in an endless loop. The video below gives an idea, but the original 3D look in real is stunning. As all other stuff on this website it is licensed under creative commons (CC-Name). Download link below.

And here's where things get REALLY interesting - he also writes:

If you have a nice blender animation which is cyclic and 3D printable (check detail, wall-width eg. the T-Rex on blendswap has unproducable tiny arms) I would be grateful if you could make it available under a CC license so I can use and publish it here. Contact me.

I'll tell you what - if you guys create a Sintel zeotrope in Full Color (Shapeways can do that), I'll sponsor the project! Just contact me for details.


About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender – I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


  1. Mesmerizing....

    Somehow I wouldn't have been surprised to see those guys suddenly jump out of the wheel to do crazy stuffs.... they're so... don't, realish. It's a strange feeling.

    Very nice use of 3D printer

  2. Watching the lights flicker made me feel like I could possibly get a seizure. (even though I've never had one before)

  3. one of the most amazing and creative stuff made with Blender. Looking at the video at first I thought the little men were really walking!

  4. lindsey laho has a good point, due to how this is working with light flash flickers, maybe you should add a warning for people that may be prone to seizure.

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