Innovators have combine printing technology with age-old optics.

Amid the hype of 3-D printers like MakerBot, Disney researchers in Pittsburgh have released research and a new concept that combines 3-D printers and optics to revolutionize the way in which objects interact with users. Scientists Karl D.D. Willis, Eric Brockmeyer, Scott E. Hudson, and Ivan Poupyrev are using solid-state prototypes with geometrically designed internal patterns to channel light from an LED source, transporting optical and sensory information. What this means is touch sensitive objects can be designed with sensors and other components embedded into the design. Instead of assembling individual parts to create working technology, all of the technological capabilities would be printed into the object in layers.

EXCLUSIVE MEMBER CONTENT
PSFK provides access to this article and every report, case-study, interview, and analysis that we publish for our members. PSFK Professional Membership also unlocks accessto unlimited customized research assistance and our database of over 100,000 insights on innovation trendspanning across eight industry sectors—from culture and brand to retail and customer experience.
Already a members? Log in