3D-Printed Cube Casts Scannable QR Codes With Its Shadows

3D-Printed Cube Casts Scannable QR Codes With Its Shadows

The Shadow Cube creates barcodes that point to Wikipedia entries of great thinkers.

Yi Chen
  • 13 march 2013

In Richard Carter’s “Shadow Cube” project, the designer was inspired by Douglas Hofstadter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid.”

Carter created a cube that can cast different QR code shadows depending at which angle you view the cube. The scannable codes point to the Wikipedia articles of Kurt Gödel, M.C. Escher, and J.S. Bach respectively. Because QR codes cannot be read in mirror image, only three of the six shadows casted by the cube are readable.


The artist explains how he created this 3D-rendered image that can be actualized using a 3D printer:

This was generated using a reduced-url QR code generator, a paint program to connect disconnected sections, Inkscape to convert to dxf, and OpenScad to extrude, rotate, and intersect the 3 images. OpenScad rendering took almost 30 minutes on a fast computer.


Richard Carter



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