“FELIX 3D Display (Playground)” by Langhans

  • ©Knut Langhans




    FELIX 3D Display (Playground)



    Implementation of a “holodeck-like” display device is a long-held dream of researchers in computer graphics and interactive techniques. The FELIX 3D Display represents another step towards this goal. Projected spatial images occupy a physical space of full height, width, and depth. The system can be viewed by any number of spectators from almost any angle in the room without cumbersome goggles. The images are created within the physical world of the observer, in contrast to virtual reality systems where the observer is placed within the virtual environment of the non-physical image space. Thus FELIX provides an important new option for team tasks and tasks requiring many simultaneous views of multi-dimensional data. Entertainment, air traffic control, molecular design, or computer-aided design are only a few examples of potential applications.
    In the FELIX system, a two-dimensional pattern is generated on a passive projection screen. A rotating helix sweeps out a cylindrical envelope (frame rate is 20 Hz), providing a volumetric display medium through which scanned laser pulses are projected. The hitting laser beam is scattered from the rotating surface, which generates a visible light spot (voxel).The spatial position of the emanating voxel within the display is determined by the momentary location of the laser beam’s intersection with the rotating helix.
    Vector Graphics

    The vector graphics are projected with galvanometric scanners. Colored images are realized by combining red, green, and blue lasers. Separate modulation of each component enables additional color mixing.
    Random Access Graphics
    In the random access approach, raster images are generated. But only the volume pixels (voxels) to be displayed are scanned, saving data resources. For this mode, a high speed acousto-optic deflector is used. The advanced software concept is capable of displaying wire-frame graphics in standard data formats within the FELIX 3D Display. The resolution is about 10,000 voxels at 20 Hz.
    The FELIX 3D Display project team has evolved from a scientific working group of students and teachers at the Vincent Lubeck High School in Stade, Germany. This group works together on projects that range from development of a cyberbike to multivision projections through development of the FELIX 3D Display. All these voluntary activities are aimed at combining aspects of science and art.
    Despite minimal financial resources, the group has achieved considerable results. Since 1983, the FELIX 3D Display team has been working on various 3D display techniques (stereoscopy, holography, multiplanar displays, etc.) in collaboration with the Institute of Flight Guidance and Control at the Technical University of Braunschweig, which led to development of innovative volumetric 3D display concepts.

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