The Zoeprojectoscope

The Zoeprojectoscope is a mechanical toy designed to teach kids the main concepts of frame-by-frame animation.¬†Animation is a fascinating concept, especially for kids who watch a lot of it. It’s always exciting to understand how the shows they watch are made.

How it works

  • Each frame is a piece of acetate which is drawn on.
  • The acetate is sandwiched between two clear pieces of acrylic and placed in the wheel, which holds slots for 12 frames.
  • To animate the drawings, the user turns the crank, which makes the wheel turn, and places the frames in front of the optics in the right order.
  • A light shines through each frame at the right moment, powered using the energy generated by turning the crank.
  • A system of gears attached to the crank spin a motor at high speed, generating enough electricity to power a set of LEDs.
  • A contact switch is positioned in front of the wheel so that the light is only turned on when each frame is perfectly aligned with the optics. This simulates the shutter from a real projector.
Next Steps
  • Fix the optics to make the projection work
  • Add legs on the side to make the production surface usable
  • Make the whole thing lighter by using a thinner wheel
  • Add a base to increase stability

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