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Team 3D. 3D Volumetric Display. Erik Lorhammer Christopher Bermel Josh Cornelius Electrical Computer Engineering Electrical Engineer Electrical Engineer. Proposal. Objectives 3D Volumetric Display

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Team 3d l.jpg

Team 3D

3D Volumetric Display

Erik Lorhammer Christopher Bermel Josh Cornelius

Electrical Computer Engineering Electrical Engineer Electrical Engineer

Proposal l.jpg


  • 3D Volumetric Display

  • System will load pictures from an external memory source to main memory and send pictures to projector in a specified order.

  • Project an image onto a rotating screen, the rotation of this screen will produce the appearance of a 3D image. The projected images will be 2D.

  • Uses: Projection of 3D images can be used for multiple purposes, examples could include military use, topographical maps, educational use (DNA strands), medical, etc.

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Memory Card

Power 120V 60Hz

Optical System (Mirrors)

Power Supply (9V)

Altera FPGA




Control Panel


Voltage Control

Mechanical System


Initial Block Diagram

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Current Design


Control Board (FPGA)


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Control Board

  • Main board of the system

  • Connects by VGA to projector and has external memory interface.

  • Connects to an external button panel which will provide all the inputs needed. (Load from external memory to memory, turn on/off system, start output to projector, stop output to projector)

  • Development work will be done on the Altera Development Board present in capstone lab which already has Flash input and VGA output.

  • Once development work is completed the Development Board will no longer be used and a PCB will be constructed with only the following components:

    • Altera FPGA

    • External Memory Input

    • VGA Output

    • Control Panel hookup

    • Power Subsystem

    • On-Board Flash Memory

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  • A series of images will be displayed on a rotating translucent screen. Each image will be taken from a different angle, so the projection of the sequence will appear 3 dimensional.

  • Mirrors will rotate along with the screen so the projector can remain stationary.

  • The translucent screen will transmit 50% of the light, so the image will appear to be floating in space.

  • The projector we are currently looking at is a small handheld projector.

  • The desired resolution is either 480x320 or 640x480, depending on the projector.

  • The projector will connect to the control board through either VGA.

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  • Step-up Motor by Automation Direct which will operate at a certain RPM determined by our hardware’s FPS and the refresh rate of the projector we choose.

    • Rotate disk that will contain a screen and set of mirrors by either a system of gears or belt

  • Possible Materials

    • Aluminum

      • Rotating Disk (possibly Plexi-glass)

      • Structurally hold Screen

      • Base

    • Purchase Gears

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Risks & Contingencies

  • FPS may not be sufficient to produce a quality 3D image.

    • Lower resolution

    • Decrease complexity

    • Decrease number of colors (ie. 24 bit to 256 color)

  • Unfamiliar Technology

    • Altera FPGA (Cyclone II)

      • Xilinx board (used in digital logic, but prefer not to)

    • Interfaces

      • Flash

      • VGA

    • Mechanical aspects

      • Materials (metals, gears, belts, etc)

      • Could use outside assistance to get mechanical aspects working correctly

      • Torque of motor may be insufficient

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Risks & Contingencies (cont’d)

  • Financial

    • Cheaper components that are still effective

      • Instead of metal use alternate for examplePlexi-glass or Plastics

    • Request bailout for 3D volumetric display industry

  • Schedule Uncertainty

    • Other classes

    • Work

    • Weather

    • Machining Schedule and Class

  • Can’t exactly predict how long components will take us to build/test

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Economic Impacts

  • Cost

    • Motor - $20 (AutomationDirect – STP-MTR-17048)

    • Altera FPGA – SparkFun - $Free

    • PCB – $10

    • Mirrors - $100

    • Projector - $400

    • Screen - $50+

    • Dome - $100

    • Base - $50

    • MFG / Production / Materials Cost - $400

      • Total: ~$1130

  • Potential Marketability

    • Military, Education, Medical, Architecture, anyone who would ever want to see a 3D image, etc. Could be adopted for multiple other uses in the future.

    • Purchase price – Mass Production - $5000

  • Environmental Impact of Manufacturing

    • The union of the impacts of manufacturing the individual components plus putting them together. Energy cost of running the unit.

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  • Sustainability

    • Parts from more than one vendor? No, the parts are chosen carefully to fit specific needs.

    • Maintenance and support? Mechanical aspects of the system could possibly break. Need replacement parts for every part of the system, plan to replace every part. Will have User Manual and 1-800 number if system ever reaches market. 

  • Manufacturability

    • Effect of Component tolerances? System could overheat, metal and mirrors and glass will be spinning at high speed.

    • Worst-case analysis, expected production yield? Worst case is system becomes unstable during rotation or mirrors shatter during vibration as well as electrical components coming detached. 99/100 systems will be manufactured well as long as defects are not in our suppliers products.

    • Testability? Straight forward, make sure all components work especially the mechanical components and put out dummy image to see if the full system is working.

    • Compliance to regulations? Will have to keep system within FCC regulations, system will be shielded by its casing. Have to make sure the mechanical aspects are safe.

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Considerations (cont’d)

  • Safety

    • Safety in the workspace? Glass will be thick enough in final product to protect user from any demolition inside the globe.

    • System safety issues? Discussed in earlier sections, the system will plug straight into the wall with shielded cables.

  • Impact on society

    • This product will have a huge positive impact on society. The pros will outweigh the cons.

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