Invisibility cloaks made of plastic can now be created at home using 3D printers, the scientists at Duke University detailed their findings in May.
Duke University engineer Yaroslav Urzhumov and team made a small plastic cloak at Duke which looks like a Frisbee disc made out of Swiss cheese. Algorithms determined the location, size and shape of the holes to deflect microwave beams. The fabrication process takes from three to seven hours.
3D printed invisibility cloak. Credit: Yaroslav Urzhumov
The cloaks have open spots in their centers in which to place items up to 5.5 inches wide (14 cm). They are designed to "makes a small object placed in its hollow center invisible to frequencies from 9.7 to 10.1 GHz (close to the range used by radar speed guns)." according to Popsci. And when microwaves are beamed at those objects from the side, the cloaks make it look as if the items are not there.
So far these cloaks hide objects only when viewed from the side. To make cloaks that render objects invisible to beams coming from any direction would involve gluing together several cloaks to form a larger structure that completely encloses an object, said Urzhumov.
Theoretically, the technique can be used to create much larger devices which could have many military and civilian applications.
Urzhumov shared this work of art online allowing everyone to try themselves.
- Time: 3 to 8 hours
- Cost: About $100
- Difficulty: 1 out of 5
- Find a 3D printer, preferably FDM (a process called fused deposition modeling) printer.
- Download Urzhumov's design file at popsci here and print it out. (The default thickness is 1 centimeter, but it can expand as tall as a 3-D printer allows.)
- To use the invisibility cloak, line the disk's inner ring with aluminum foil, lay it on a flat surface, and put an object 5.4 inches long or less inside. Any microwaves shining on the disk's outer edge won't reveal your precious property.
Before accessing Urzhumov's 3D-printing file, please note: Urzhumov and his colleagues retain the copyright to the work, and by downloading this file you agree: 1) to take full responsibility for the consequences of using it; and 2) to indemnify Duke university and all individuals involved in the creation of this work of art.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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yup wrote at 9/13/2013 1:06:00 AM:
to indemnify Duke university and all individuals involved in the creation of this work of art. - ????????
bullsh1t wrote at 9/4/2013 4:26:31 PM:
What are some of the "many applications"? I'm calling bs