万華鏡(Mange kyo): A kaleidoscope designed by an engineering PhD student...

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During a trip to attend a small conference at Hawaii, I dropped by a small gallery where I came up with an idea of making my own, very engineeringish kaleidoscope. I started making on 27 Dec 2012 and finished on 20 Mar 2013, took almost three months (and spent about 80 pounds. Ughhhh!)!

I ordered a conventional toy kaleidoscope for about 8 pounds on Amazon, took its mirrors, and cut each of them into a trapezoidal shape (see the slideshow below & the exact dimension is here) for primary mirrors. The primary mirrors are then assembled into like a sleek trigonal pyramid so that the image projected inside the kaleidoscope becomes a multi-hundreds-faced polyhedron. There are also secondary mirrors which surround the primary mirrors. The secondary mirrors are used to generate adjustable lines of light, shed from the projected image.

Due to the trigonal configuration of the primary mirrors, and the outer (secondary) mirrors, the images seen inside is very different from the ones in conventional kaleidoscopes, as you see in the movies.

This kaleidoscope is also equipped with a couple of LEDs, a motion sensor, a motor, AAA batteries, as well as a circular case containing coloured beads. So, apparently it moves itself!


Movie of how the kaleidoscope (and its motion sensor) works.


More of the kaleidoscope.


The making of the Kaleidascope at my Flicker: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yukiminamoto/sets/72157633094212899/

The making and inside of the kaleidoscope.



kaleidoscope kaleidoscope
kaleidoscope kaleidoscope

Finally, its appearance.