This instructable demonstrates and explains blooms, a unique type of sculpture I invented that animates when spun while lit by a strobe light (or captured by a video camera with a very fast shutter speed).
Unlike a traditional 3D zoetrope, which is essentially a flip book of multiple objects, a bloom is a single coherent sculpture whose ability to be animated is intrinsic to its geometry.
What you are viewing in each of the above videos is a bloom spinning at 550 RPMs while being videotaped at 24 frames-per-second with a very fast shutter speed (1/4000 sec). The rotation speed is carefully synchronized to the camera's frame rate so that one frame of video is captured every time the bloom turns ~137.5º—the golden angle. Each petal on the bloom is placed at a unique distance from the top-center of the form. If you follow what appears to be a single petal as it works its way out and down the bloom, what you are actually seeing is all the petals on the bloom in the order of their respective distances from the top-center. Read on to learn more about how these blooms were made, why the golden angle is such an important angle, and how these are related to the Fibonacci numbers. You will also find some tips for constructing the turntable and strobe light required to animate blooms.
Blooms are available at Shapeways, a 3D printing service.