While 3D movies work by tricking your eyes into seeing two slightly different images, Dr. Alex Lippert of SMU is taking things in a new direction. Instead of using only light, his device employs a photoswitch die, N-phenyl spirolactam rhodamines, to absorb light in the spectrum that humans can see.
This luminescent property is triggered by shining it with UV radiation, and normally takes hours. After adding triethylamine — per grad student Jian Cao’s suggestion — the transition now takes place instantly.
With this unique property, Lippert is able to use two projectors, a custom UV unit and a visible light projector, arranged at 90 degrees to each other to produce 3D images in a solution of this die/activator. The UV projector activates sections of 3D pixels, known as voxels, while the visible projector lights them in the visible spectrum.
You can see this setup demonstrated here with an animated mustang and a game of 3D Pong.[h/t: SMU]
Chemistry and Dual Projectors Yield Star Wars-Inspired 3D Images was originally published in Hackster’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.