A 3D Zoetrope is a very bizzarre optical illusion where inanimate objects will seemingly come alive. Something about doing it with sculpture over a traditional zoetrope reel makes it a powerful, surreal experience. Rather than using slits in a reel or doing something like a flip book, the idea is to use a strobe light to isolate each "frame" of whatever animation you use, thus enabling the animation to become 3D.
Anyways, in order to build my own I've been needing to teach myself a few things about motors and gear reduction, as well as broaden my knowledge of electronics and brush up on my skills with power tools.
Today was a big milestone - my tests with 2D paper animation using a strobe and a spinning platform were successful! The next step will be to replace the flat paper with 3 dimensional objects, and I'll be ready to create a final, polished version.
I've attached a small hobby motor to a circular disk, which spins the disc pretty fast when powered with a 3V / 700ma adapter.
I tinkered with an Arduino hooked up to a blue LED, using a simple blinking program to create a strobe that I could control and tweak.
This is the top of the disc, with my paper test animation taped to it.
...and, the successful test! It's loud, and scratchy, and doesn't look very impressive. But trust me, this is going to be awesome when I replace the paper with sculpture-