3D printingNew stuff

Disney takes the art of 3D printing to the next level

3D printing isn't just for novelty bookends any more. Check out the amazing creation the Mouse House has produced with its exciting new "printed optics" technology.

Disney isn't just about fairytale castles and princesses. It’s also got  a pretty serious technical research facility, and they've invented something that promises to bring 3D printing into the realms of sci-fi.

3D printing isn't just about solid objects any more - and Disney's new tech brings exciting new capabilities to 3D-printed toys and gadgets

The new tech is called "printed optics" and enables sensing, display, and illumination elements to be directly embedded in the body of an interactive device.

When projected imagery is mapped onto this character's eyes, it responds to user interaction such as sound or physical movement

Examples include:

  • A toy with an embedded heart shape that glows when illuminated in a heartbeat-like rhythm.
  • chess pieces that display information about where they are on the board using light
  • plastic blocks that appear to show explosions inside when light is shone at them
This toy character has an embedded heart shape made from a series of internal bubbles. When illuminated the embedded heart shape glows with a heartbeat-like rhythm

Check out the video demonstrating the new technology:

Full technical details of how  printed optics work can be found in this research paper.

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