n00tron is a unique technology and art exhibit. Generative light art is created in the spherical volumetric display with complete interactivity.  Participants have realtime control of the display drawing algorithms using knobs and switches on the control panel. Great fun for all ages, learn about Persistence Of Vision display technology while producing your own animated artistic creations!

n00tron needs a home in a museum near you!
Please contact us if you can help: dan at MonkeyLectric dot com

by MonkeyLectric

As seen at:  Maker Faire 2010, SigGraph 2010, Maker Faire 2011, Maker Faire NYC 2011

Step 1: What is it?

About n00tron:

- it is a true 3-dimensional display (also known as a Volumetric display)
- the display volume is spherical, about 550mm in diameter
- the display is created by spinning a bicycle wheel with rows of lights inside it
- the bicycle wheel is spun in 2 axes simultaneously
- n00tron is great for making light art, but it is not possible to make 3D bitmaps.
- n00tron is controlled interactively from a control panel
- n00tron draws colorful patterns using simple parameterized drawing algorithms (also known as Generative Art)
- the control panel has lots of knobs that set the basic parameters of the drawing algorithms
- participants of any age can easily create their own amazing 3D light sculptures!

Read on for more information!

<p>This would be awesome suspended from the ceiling in a club to provide visualizations next to your music. I love it.</p>
<p>Is this a tutorial or just an explanation on how this works? How much does making something like this cost (besides the lights and software, I already know that's close to $1000)?</p>
for your intellectual fufillment please visit the university of nigeria for more information, log on to unn.edu.ng
if you want to do the princess leah scene then we can help. weve just documented how to make a volumetric display that will do just that . 200 million vexels per second . pop over to www.openvolumetric.org and check out our video and full guide . cheers.
Dan - fantastic machine, looks amazing. Given that you're looking to find a home for it in a museum, I wonder if you could program it to depict molecular orbitals? These depict the 3D probability space for electrons in an atom, and are fundamental to our understanding of chemistry. They're also notoriously hard to visualize, but your n00tron could really bring an abstruse subject to 3D life in spectacular fashion (and might be a selling point for a science museum?). See the <a href="http://winter.group.shef.ac.uk/orbitron/">Orbitron</a> for images, equations, dot density diagrams, etc.&nbsp;
some of the output modes already look a lot like electron orbitals, this is one reason we called it 'n00tron'.
Hey Dan, are you still looking for a museum for the &quot;Rope and Sound Interactive Tensegrity Sculpture&quot;? I'll be emailing you at your monkeylectric email with my info. Thanks. <br> <br>Regards, <br>Lic. Robert Moreno
I approve of the name.
Why aren't 3D &quot;bitmaps&quot; ( or voxelmaps ) not possible? <br>Is it not possible to keep a point fixed on a 3D position? <br>Is it not possible to know with precision where in space will a certain led be at a certain time as a function of time and rotation angles?
Oops ignore the double-negative. <br> <br>( Why aren't 3D bitmaps possible? )
LIKE, LIKE, LIKE!!!! where's the like botton????, i need desperatelly to press it!!
I wouldn't have thought to use two-axis rotation, but I have thought about the possibility of using your &quot;2nd axis&quot; as the &quot;only axis&quot;, and just covering the wheel with LED strips, or even just a low-resolution LED &quot;screen&quot; being rotated about that axis. Which would be easier to implement, the fewer-LED dual-axis or the many-LED single-axis?
single axis with a rotating panel of LEDs is much easier if you are starting from scratch. we only built ours this way because we already had the bicycle wheels covered with LEDs.<br> <br> for example see:<br> <div class="media_embed"> <iframe frameborder="0" height="321" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/610602?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" width="400"></iframe> <p> <a href="http://vimeo.com/610602">Revolver - January 2008</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/eski">ESKI</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p> </div>
Had anyone ever tried to change the axis of a spinning bike wheel ? The precession forces are very high !!!<br><br>If you want to DIY a such project, be prepared to build a RIGID mount !!!! You'll need it !
It really is quite something, but am I reading that price right? is the light piece 2000 dollar, because thats certainly out of most DIYers price range...
This is one of the most geniously inspired constructions I have seen here.<br><br>I am sure that, after the author has done the difficult part of inventing this idea, many of us can now start thinking of ways to add even more motions to the lights.<br>-.
great thing!!!! I would like to make one, I love it :)
nice!<br> i've seen one before though, but <a href="http://laserpointerforums.com/f57/led-orb-2-0-a-50012.html">that one is small</a><br> and it has just 3 LED's<br> but this one's really cool since you can actually program it and make it show/do whatever you want it to do<br> awesome job!<br>
Ha yes. I saw that too and I really want to make one. Then I was doing a search for electrical slip ring and saw this instructable. Dan you, Dan! :) Very nice project indeed. Anyway we (I) could get more info on the slip ring assembly?
i bought a commercial slip ring made for small windmills, it was about $50. there seem to be several companies that make them if you google for it. some on ebay also.<br><br>
Have you tried to change the rotation axis of a spinning bicycle wheel ?<br><br>This machine must be very well built, because precession forces will be enormous when both axes are in motion.!<br>
When watching the video, I kept waiting for it to fly apart or blow up... Very impressive machine you've got there though.
Very cool!<br><br>Rotating the whole thing about the second (vertical) axis creates a pretty large torque, I imagine, which must be the cause of the high stresses and vibrations you see. I'd hate to be anywhere near if something worked loose, broke or jammed under those stresses!<br><br>I imagine if you had a lot more LEDs on the wheel you could spin along the first axis much slower to cover all the points (and maybe even get Princess Leia up!), which would reduce the stresses - in other words you could add LEDs to trade off price against stresses/strength.
Good point rpb. I agree. And to prove it, I'll back you up with some gloss-over physics. <br> <br>Gyroscopic forces can reach very large values very easily by slightly increasing the rate of rotation (and consequently angular momentum). <br> <br>In other words, slightly decreasing the rate at which the wheel spins would dramatically decrease the torque experienced by the thing spinning it around its second axis. That would increase the lifetime and safety of the machine.
Very nice instructable indeed.<br><br>To reduce the gyroscopic forces i would remove the spokes and the rim. Just use enough support for the Led PCB's. Because the farther away the mass is from the center of rotation, the more force is generated.
Actually I think both the first and second axis of spin have variable rates (correct me if I'm wrong) which means that instead of slowing it down, you'll just have to make it strong enough to handle the greatest load (max. allowed spin rate for both axes). That, or limit the speed within safe bounds.
very pretty jobs...<br>can it mix into winamp visualyzer?
not currently but it would be straightforward since all the control panel signals go through a laptop already.<br>
Its Nice........Interesting
Love it.
I have no words for it....
Great work, keep on inventing! :)
LOVE IT.... what about putting sensors so your computer can read its exact position on the axis... then you should be able to do 3d text and other visuals
Espectacular!!!<br> Vi uno parecido antes pero este esta mas elaborado! Genial!
awesome. Can you do 3d text? <br>I'd like to see 9 of them in a grid.<br>or 27 in a close set cube.<br><br>
Great stuff.
Coooooool !!!
You can also use different strips. I found some information on <a href="http://ledstriplights.info"> LED strip light info </a>, but what do I exactly need? What is the light intensity?
Great resolution, very nice clarity!
can it be used to display an apparently still image? or a cohesive image? it's very cool either way, but i'd like to know if you could display, for instance, the image of a 3d head or something.
I'm interested too
I was wondering that, as well. Like in the James Bond movie &quot;The World Is Not Enough&quot; with the hololgram head of the villan that got shot.
It would be possibly, but you'd need to have each of the motors spinning at a very precise, measurable rate, and you'd need to have a computer constantly running some pretty hardcore calculations to figure out what should be lit up.<br><br>A simpler (simple, hah) method would be to simply have only the second axis used here, but have one half of the wheel (which does no longer spin) full of multicolored LEDs. This way, you can individually address each, and as they do not spin throughout another axis, it is far simpler to calculate what should be lit up.
Any plans on building one not made of bike parts? are you making a custom one that CAN move at 3000rpm to provide a 3d image? that would be cool to see as well, looks like you've got the software side of it down. I'm an ME, so those parts would be hardest for me.<br><br>Pretty awesome design guys, mind if I ask how much this all cost?
That is like super COOL! I'd try to make one if I had the parts.........
That is very cool indeed. Too bad it can't do the floating head thing, that would be so much more awesome than a teleconference/Skype: have your coworker's floating, whirring head atop a small box at the end of the table.
You made it! Thnx

About This Instructable


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Bio: Dan Goldwater is a co-founder of Instructables. Currently he operates MonkeyLectric where he develops revolutionary bike lighting products. He also writes a DIY column for ... More »
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