Oct.8, 2013

Disney Research, Pittsburgh unveiled in July a new printed optics technology, "Papillion" for 3D printing highly expressive animated eyes for interactive characters, robots and toys.

Image distortion is a problem with curved displays, rather than using RGB pixels, Disney Research create alternative pixel topologies using Fibonacci spirals commonly found in nature. Pixels are arranged in a Fibonatcci spiral and extruded to produce a curved display surface. The resulting geometry is then 3D printed using VeroClear photopolymer. Light is projected underneath or into the device. Optical fibres then relay the picture to a curved surface.

Eyes are designed as a bundle of 3D printed optical fibers guiding images projected on the receiving end of the bundle to the surfaces of the character eye. The eyes are printed slice-by-slice using transparent photopolymers separated by a translucent support material. PAPILLION is based on a set of algorithms that implements classic Fibonacci spirals and Voronoi tessellation for efficient packing of fibers on a surface of an eye and in the bundle.

Papillion can thus enable video projection in even small characters and at a fraction of the cost of bundled fiber optics. The technology can be used for building interactive toys, supplemental characters for videogames, robots or perhaps eventually even human prosthetic eyes.

Watch the video below Disney Research uploaded this week explaining Papillion in detail:


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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