Bubble Screen, moving images with bubbles.

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When I saw the video above a while ago I was really excited.

After checking out Instructables I saw they had just announced another laser cutter contest. I felt that my endless sketchbook was a really fun entry but, if I was planning on winning this time I was going to have to come up with something extraordinary. This brings me back to the Jeep waterfall display. I was thinking that it would a lot of fun to make a small scale mechanical version of that display.

I added this idea to the MoHDI think tank and started thinking about the design of such a display. At some point it occurred to me that instead of making a fountain type of thing, I was thinking it might be easier to use bubbles to display a variety of images and animations. Instead of falling like the waterfall, the bubbles will rise.

Since I just love mechanical things I was also thinking it would be great to build mechanically. Mechanical animations are just amazing if you ask me. I think if I can get it done in my little spare time, I will try to design, build and enter this into the new laser cutter contest. I think it might have a decent chance of doing ok.

Here are some of my notes about this project. I’ll explain some of my thinking after the image.
Bubble Notes

The basic idea of this is that through a series of holes that constantly rotate and allow air to pass I’ll be able to manipulate the air bubbles enough to make out some recognizable shapes and text. There are numerous difficult tasks in order to achieve what I would like. For instance I might have to somehow strobe the air and the water. I was also thinking that when the air bubbles go up, water will come down a pump at the bottom of the device might be needed.

My thoughts go to a double cylindrical shaped device where I could have air bubbles go through the main section in the middle then use the outer cylinder to actually pump the water back up.

You won’t get it….

My thinking about storing the information on a mechanical device is rather interesting. I have a number of ways to actually do this, each might be a disaster when it actually comes to working with the water and such. I’m thinking of creating something that would work a lot like the old player pianos or music boxes. The simplest idea is basically spinning a disk with only a slice of this disk being allowed to have air escape through the holes. As the disk spins different holes are exposed and different imagery will occur as the air passes through the water.
This disk with the holes in it idea gets really fun when instead of a disk you think about a sphere or a series of rotating spheres to allow you to work in more space.

Now I say water but, depending on the speed of the bubbles and quickness of the animation I might have to try a variety of liquids to actually get the desired effect.

I’m not sure how much information could actually be placed one single disk but, I would imagine it wouldn’t be a lot. Perhaps a word or two. The actual cool thing is being able to think in 3D space instead of flat and be able to have a variety of images pass through. ….

I’m sorry if it seems like I’m rambling but, I just want to get some of my many thoughts about this idea out there. I’ve been experimenting with some things and hope someday to have something to display..

Who knows perhaps this might be a way to display 3D shows someday. Maybe you could take and display pictures or something with this thing or it might lead to something much bigger….

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