Light Lathe Prototypes


Sebastian was in the learning studio yesterday testing out an exhibit for geometry playground which spins a 2-D shape lit by ultraviolet light, illuminating the 3-D outline of the shape. We started thinking about ways that visitors could build their own designs to put on the motor. We experimented with florescent tape, brightly colored acrylic and the bendy insulation pipe from the jigsaw.

Then we noticed that we had a bin filled with florescent zip-ties and imagined that they might be a interesting material to try. We tested out looping the zip-ties together and also cutting them short and making right angles. Both ended up looking pretty neat and definitely inspired us to keep thinking about other ways we can make this exhibit more about making and experimentation.



How 'bout a black or clear grid/screen (maybe an acrylic pegboard) that you can insert fluorescent pegs into, like a Lite-Brite lathe?

You could even make it two-sided, so you could experiment with overlapping images or split images.

Good suggestion. We will try it!

We could use a grid or even transparent material so it doesn't block the view of the fluorescent pieces when they are on the opposite side.

It is hard to catch what`s on these photos. Whethe it is large or small. But anyways, thanks for sharing

Hi Alex. The spinning shape is pretty small (5" in diameter).

Are those zip ties? Have you tried fluorescent posterboard or fabric? I'm wondering if you could use magnets to sort of hold pieces in place as they spin to give flat elements "volume". Maybe yarn with beads on the ends.

Yes, they are zip ties! 'Thank you' to whoever decided we should stock fluorescent zip ties in the Learning Studio!

I think fluorescent yarn/fabric could work well for more complex designs. I imagine a ring with wire mesh that you can stick fluorescent stuff to and then put it in the spinner.

This is such a cool design. The UV light makes it even better. I enjoyed the pictures and the video. I am planning on trying to make one myself now! I am going to take everyone's suggestions seriously when I begin to build.

Add a comment

Note: all comments are moderated. After you save, your comment will not appear until approved.