Printed Optics: Disney Research 3D Printing to Create Future of Toys
Collaborators from Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University are using 3D printing to create the future of interactive toys they call “Printed Optics.” Excerpts from a research paper are included below.
We present an approach to 3D printing custom optical elements for interactive devices labelled Printed Optics. Printed Optics enable sensing, display, and illumination elements to be directly embedded in the casing or mechanical structure of an interactive device. Using these elements, unique display surfaces, novel illumination techniques, custom optical sensors, and embedded optoelectronic components can be digitally fabricated for rapid, high ﬁdelity, highly customized interactive devices. Printed Optics is part of our long term vision for interactive devices that are 3D printed in their entirety. In this paper we explore the possibilities for this vision afforded by fabrication of custom optical elements using today’s 3D printing technology.
Printed Optics is a new approach to creating custom optical elements for interactive devices using 3D printing. Printed Optics enable sensing, display, and illumination elements to be directly embedded in the body of an interactive device. Using these elements, unique display surfaces, novel illumination techniques, custom optical sensors, and robust embedded components can be digitally fabricated for rapid, high fidelity, customized interactive devices.
3D printing allows digital geometry to be rapidly fabricated into physical form with micron accuracy. Usable optical elements can be designed and simulated in software, then 3D printed from transparent material with surprising ease and affordability.
But Disney’s vision is much grander. Watch the video below.
More at Disney Research.