Background: In the TV show “Chuck” (NBC Monday 8 PM EST) the hero, Chuck down loads all the governments’ top secrets as a series of encoded images from the Intersect computer.
In season 2 (2009) we got to see the Intersect - a white translucent cube spinning inside a long vertical cylinder, its called the "Intersect Cube. "
Motivation: As a fan of the show I wanted my own working Intersect Cube - but for a lot less money than the official TV show version.
Design Approach: Based on the images from the TV show - a white cube spins inside a long plastic cylinder with two nicely machined aluminum caps top and bottom. Cube and cylinder assembly sits on a round metal base with four blue lights shining on the cube as it spins.
It probably cost the show producers several hundreds if not thousands of dollars to make and required a good machine shop. For my replicate I down sized to 9 inches diameter by 12 inches tall (probably about 2/3 the size of the one used on the TV show) and simplified the design so it can be produced for less than $100 using commonly available materials & tools.
The simplified model uses a craft store $5 glass cylinder “flower vase,” a paraffin wax cube, small 6 VDC gear motor, and 4 blue LEDs.
Build Options: This Instructable shows how to build the basic hardware and 2 versions of the Intersect controller. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRGJXG5yQCA
 The "Simple Controller" includes an on/off switch and speed control knob. It requires just a little bit of soldering. The total material cost when built this way is probably < $70.
 The "Full Function Controller" features a PICAXE 08M micro ($4) talking to your PC, touch to activate sensor, and programmable speed control. It requires construction of a more complex electronic circuit. Using a Visual Basic App running on your PC, it can more or less simulate the entire "Intersect uploading sequence" as seen in Chuck TV episode Chuck vs the Ring. This includes uploading and playing an Intersect image video on your PC screen ... see if you "flash" afterwards.