Jan 2, 2018 | By Julia

As new advances in 3D printing emerge, our eyes are perpetually opened to novel manufacturing solutions and ways of seeing them. Consumers and businesses alike are learning that, now more than ever, virtually anything can be 3D printed. It’s a movement that’s revolutionized how we think about production, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Consequently, in an effort to remain ahead of the curb, many industry leaders are hard at work incorporating 3D scanning, modelling and printing into their production models - whether it’s HP forging ahead from traditional inkjet printing to new and improved 3D printing tech, or ETH Zurich scientists innovating self-assembling prints that expand into predetermined geometries over time.

Yet amidst all the 3D industry hype, one maker is keen to show that sometimes, what constitutes the ‘3rd dimension’ is merely in the eye of the beholder. 29-year-old Sage Hansen is a Texas-based 3D animator whose newest creation is going viral. Not exactly the breathtaking 3D animation seen emerging from companies like Disney and Pixar, Hansen’s recent claim to fame is in the form of an optical illusion: a 3D printed cube that, upon closer inspection, is not in fact a cube at all, but a flat object complete with a series of disjointed lines and angles. Known more precisely as an “anamorphic illusion,” Hansen’s work effectively tricks the viewer’s perception, resembling a 3D cube when viewed from only one particular angle.

“I have always enjoyed seeing forced perspective chalk art,” says Hansen, who documented his version of the phenomenon via home video on December 10th. Inspired by this classic form of perception-skewing artwork, Hansen decided to bring his own skills to bear as a 3D animator. “I created a virtual cube and camera angle in my 3D software,” he explains. “I then started to draw lines at random positions and angles until they aligned in the camera’s perspective.” After he was satisfied with the chosen angles, Hansen went on to extrude the lines, making them thicker and rounding off the corners to soften the lighting. Finally, Hansen printed the mind-bending object on his 3D printer.

The 3D designing alone took around two and a half hours, and the results are certainly effective. The box appears entirely real when filmed at a certain angle, but the moment the camera moves, the image immediately becomes distorted, exposing the illusion for the viewer.


The print wasn’t necessarily premeditated, but Hansen is pleased with the outcome. 'This idea for the illusion cubes came to me in the middle of the night,” he says. “When I woke up and started to search online and didn't see this, I knew it would be a fun challenge for me to create.”

Yet while Hansen’s anamorphic cube illusion could be read as poking fun at the additive manufacturing industry, the animator confirms he feels nothing but serious appreciation and admiration for 3D printing technology. Since he bought his first 3D printer in 2014, Hansen notes that “the printers have come a long way in a short time, and they have made many improvements.” The 29-year-old make the upgrade to his current 3D printer model in 2016, which was used to make his lauded optical illusion.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Corey wrote at 1/11/2018 12:41:14 AM:

Where is it going viral? Can I download this file somewhere?

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