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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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World’s largest 3D-display

Electrical engineering students at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have created the world’s largest 3D-display. The display consists of 8,000 suspended ping pong balls that each contain a red LED light. It play games of 3D snake, 3D pong, and 3D duckhunt, as wll as displaying SMS messages and simple animations.

4 kilometres of copper wire, 3 kilos of solder, a couple of hundred metres of aluminium and eight printed circuit boards.


  1. Lionel

    The LEDs are one on top of the other in a square layout. I’d like to see them stacked in cubic close packed, aka CCP. CCP is the shape ping pong balls assume when you pile one on another. Molecules do the same. Chemists call it “CCP” or “HCP” (cubic or hexagonal close packing). Bucky Fuller called it IVM (isotropic vector matrix).

    I predict CCP display will look more attractive to the human eye. I predict waves will render better with a CCP display, as refraction, reflection and diffraction usually occur angles other than 90 and 45.

    BTW, Bucky predicted this invention in Synergetics. Here is that passage, translated into normal English:

    Atoms can be imagined as arranged in a matrix of “lights” which spreads equally in every direction. This model is like a three-dimensional version of the two- dimensional light-bulb-matrix billbooards on Broadway-and-Forty-Second Street, New York City. The billboards have fields of powerful little light bulbs which are switched off-and-on by remote controllers, varying their intensity and color.

    Our atomic model would display each and every atom in its naturally occuring arrangement. We could light a group of atoms to represent our own body. By turning on all the right lights at the right time, we could model “you,” with your organically arranged “body” of lights surrounding “you” in every direction, moving through space in any direction.

    With accurate timing, we could activate the same number of lights in the same pattern, and achieve the optical effect (as with two-dimensional, flat movies), by successively activating each of the lights from one voxel to the next, with small, local “movement” variations of “you” accomplished by special local matrix sequence programmings.

    We could progressively and discretely activate each of the atoms of such a matrix to become “lights,” and could move an arbitrary “form” through the field. The form could be a “sphere,” a “polyhedron,” or any other shape including complex ones such as you or me. This three-dimensional group of points can be programmed multidimensionally on a computer in such a manner that a concentric spherical cluster of “light” points can be progressively “turned on” to comprise a “substance” which seemingly moves from here to there.

  2. An interesting point Lionel, I’ll make sure the guys at Delft get a look at this



  3. I created, patented and displayed a 3D animating LED Cube in 1999 in Chicago. This has often been credited to James Clar but I originally designed this in the late 1980s (I did a software simulation) and finally had the skills to build one by 1999.
    Just to set the record straight…

  4. The URL to above 3D Cube patent:

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