Zoetropes Get “4D” with the Incredible 3D Printed 4-Mation Platform

By on November 30th, 2017 in Design

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 A 3D printed zoetrope
A 3D printed zoetrope

4-Mation Is A Series of 3D Modular Zoetropes With Swappable Animation.

Before the introduction of film and movies, pre-animation devices like zoetropes presented a glimpse into the future of moving images. Using a series of paintings or drawings in different phases of animation, a person could paint the illusion of an object (or objects) in movement.

The 4-Mation is a modern take on the pre-film animation device, and uses 3D printing to make its animations come to life. Whereas classic zoetropes are in 2D and often lack brilliant colors, 4-Mation allows fully-colored 3D renders to appear as if a cartoon movie came to life.


The machine comes in three models: one consisting solely of electronic, another which comes with a laser-cut plywood frame, and the final one which uses a machined walnut frame (as seen in the videos). Each model is powered by 24 3-Watt RGB LED strobes and timed by a microcontroller connected to an encoder motor. The zoetrope’s rotation speed, brightness, and color are controlled via a phone app for Android and iOS.

Read the rest at Solidsmack.com


By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!