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How to make a teleidoscope (open-view and lense kaleidoscope)

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Picture of How to make a teleidoscope (open-view and lense kaleidoscope)
According to Wikipedia, a teleidoscope () is a kind of kaleidoscope, which have a lens and an open view, so they can be used to form kaleidoscopic patterns from objects outside the instrument, rather than from items installed as part of it. It was invented by John Lyon Burnside III.

This is how you see with the teleidoscope:



This is the finished teleidoscope. You can see the lens here, a simple transparent glass ball.

 
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Step 1: Materials

The tools and materials should not be difficult to obtain. I think the most difficult or expensive is the glass cutter.

In addition, you will need a spare piece of mirror (depending on the size of the teleidoscope, around 15x10 cms).

Finally obtain the glass ball. It looks opaque when it is close to you, but at around 20 cms (1 foot) it converges light.


Glasscutter & lubricant (cooking oil)
Glass (three 15x2cm pieces)
Transparent glass ball
Paper or duct tape

In the picture, you can see more materials you may need, such as glue and cardboard tubes.

Step 2: Measuring the teleidoscope

Picture of Measuring the teleidoscope
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The teleidoscope has an internal arrangement of three rectangular mirror plates. The size of this rectangular mirrors will depend on the size of the glass ball.

My glass ball is around 2cm, which I measured using a sheet of paper wrapped around it.

This will be the diameter of the teleidoscope, but first we need to cut and arrange the mirrors.  As the diameter is 2 cm, we will need to put inside this three mirrors arranged forming a triangular structure, that can be seen in the fourth picture below.
Is the glass ball at the end vital? From what I've read, it mostly forces the viewing end from laying flat against the subject and shutting out all the light.
Fiestoforo (author)  armored bore2 years ago
If you use the glass ball, the composite image has a more abstract look. Without it, it is just plain reality, looked at through a narrow tube.
Heh, we bought an excellent one in a shop on Cape Cod (mostly to learn how to make them, but also because it was incredibly well designed), then promptly tried making our own.  We really should have bought forward mirrors instead of rears, but they worked pretty well.
If I ever make a larger one (I think our glass ball was 1" diameter), I'd like to try a hexagonal mirror pattern - I've seen a few around, and they look even more incredible.
Fiestoforo (author)  valhallas_end4 years ago
Thanks for the comment and the idea of using six mirrors, I should try that...
Trebawa4 years ago
I had one of these as a kid, and I've wanted to make one for a few years now.
rimar20004 years ago
Excellent!!

When I was a child, I dit some kaleidoscopes, but never before I had heard about teleidoscopes.

Your cat
is very beautiful, too.
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