Disney Research Develops 3D Printed Optics

October 9, 2012

HCII Professor Scott Hudson and Karl D.D. Willis, a PhD student in CMU’s Computational Design Lab who is co-advised by Hudson, have worked with Disney Research, Pittsburgh, to adapt 3D printing to create customized, interactive devices that have optical sensors, display and illumination elements embedded directly in their structure. See the Printed Optics website for more information.

The technology is being presented this week at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in Cambridge, Mass., and has received notice from the BBC, Engadget, Gizmodo and others. Jason Falconer had this report in Gizmag:

“Researchers at Disney Research Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are experimenting with 3D printed optics using clear resin. Printed optics can create a variety of effects within 3D-printed objects, from focusing light within printed prisms to channeling light through honeycomb-like ‘light pipes,’ which give the effect of individually lit pixels.”