Introduction: Melting Snowman 3d Zoetrope

The original zoetrope was a pre-film animation device. It utilized sequences of drawings or photos to create the illusion of objects in motion. With this zoetrope we are taking it further by using 3d models instead of 2d pictures or drawings!

Step 1: Materials

What you will need:

  • 3d printer
  • 3d printer filament
  • A good design
  • Vinyl record player
  • A spare record or anything record-like that spins and works like a real record(in this case a wooden template was used)

Step 2: Design

The good thing about these zoetrope models is that, with an exception for the nose, they can be made entirely out of spherical objects.

  • The snowman consisted of 3 spheres
  • The melted bases were almost flattened spheres that were joined together to create the idea of a melted mass.
  • Tip: its easier to 3d print the models if the base is flat so that the structures can support themselves without outside support.
  • It is important to consider the scale of the models and positioning on the record since larger models are usually placed on the outer edge and smaller ones towards the middle if doing multiple different models.
  • Another thing to consider are the subtle differences in each model since 1 model is essentially the equivalent to one frame of a drawing or picture. They must be different enough to register motion but similar enough that they flow smoothly.

Step 3: Print

Once you have your designs down it is time to print!

  • Due to how close the models were placed while printing they ended up stuck together by a thin membrane but it was easy to cut each model out with scissors. (Spacing is important)
  • One should also consider filament color and how easy/hard it is to paint over it if necessary.

Step 4: Paint

  • In hindsight the base color should contrast with the snowmen so a darker color is preferable

Step 5: Glue

  • Make sure to maintain the order of the models!
  • Align the models correctly and glue them down so that they do not fly off when the record player spins.

Step 6: Spin

  • Place finished product on a record player
  • Use a zoetrope paper template or strobe lights to create the illusion of motion.
  • Play with rotation speeds and lighting to make it perfect!