VVD: an open source Real 3D Volumetric Display

Your 3D content on a real PoV volumetric display, no glasses needed!

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The VVD is a prototype of a PoV volumetric display device.
It is a monumental work by one single person, spanning several years of intermittent work. It ended up not being a commercial product, but the prototype was so promising not to be shared!

The VVD prototype allows you to see a real tridimensional volumetric visualization of 3D content. It's easy to use, works with any 3D model (an .STL file on your USB drive, for example).
Unlike holograms, that you can only see from a certain range of angles, a volumetric visualization can:
- be explored from any point of view
- more people can watch it at the same time, becoming a shareable experience
- no need for additional glasses, reducing viewers eye fatigue and making this solution simple and suitable for everyone.
Contest entry link to video also here:

They say that an image is worth a thousand words, so let's have some images first!

This is an animated Gif that shows how the VVD looks when you walk around it, while it is showing a 3D model of the bones inside the foot.

This is another medical 3d model of a rib cage.

This 3D model is called "Palacio de Bellas Artes" By MiniWorld,  on MyMiniFactory.

This is the most interesting Gif. A video has been recorded at 1000fps, and shows how the persistence of vision creates the illusion of a tridimensional shape.

The VVD projects the various horizontal layers of a 3D model on a special film vibrating very fast. This vibration of the image, exploit the "persistence of vision", a characteristic of our retina or brain, to retain an image after it has been removed, enabling us to perceive a whole object. This is believed to be the same principle of cinema animation techniques, where the viewer interprets a fast sequence of still images as a continuous moving image. This why this device is also called PoV (Persistence of Vision) volumetric display.

BOM open version Plexi.xlsx

BOM of the Open Version.

sheet - 11.71 kB - 11/05/2021 at 18:44


VVD compatto 2019 F Plexi.STEP

Step files for assembling the Open Version.

step - 13.18 MB - 11/05/2021 at 17:03



Trinamic TMCM1141 firmware.

tmc - 641.00 bytes - 11/05/2021 at 16:58



Trinamic TMCM1141 firmware.

tmc - 641.00 bytes - 11/05/2021 at 16:58


CNC machined _ 3D

This ZIP file has the drawings for CNC machined parts ready to be manufactured. It refers to the "boxed" version of the VVD.

x-zip-compressed - 87.66 kB - 07/13/2021 at 08:43


View all 11 files

  • 1 × DLP® LightCrafter™ Evaluation Module Details, and downloads here:
  • 2 × Front surface mirrors Two of them for the "closed version". No need for the "open frame" version
  • 1 × Udoo X86 Pc or equivalent Used to control the DLP projector. It can be used standalone, without a PC; but if you want to switvh between diffferent 3d models, you have to load a "solution" (set of 96 images, with timings and settings) into the DLP. I used an Udoo X86, with touch 7" monitor, built into the VVD. In this way the VVD is portable, and does not need external deivces to work.
  • 2 × Stepper motors: Nema 11, 28x28x51mm 2 or 4 depending on the configuration
  • 1 × Stepper driver TMC1141 I used a Trinamic TMC1141 board, that can be connected direclty to the trigger input of the DLP.

View all 10 components

  • View of the inside of the Open Frame version

    Madaeon11/06/2021 at 15:44 0 comments

    Some pictures of the inside of the Open Frame version, to better help understanding the assembly.

  • Availability of the LightCrafter projector

    Madaeon11/05/2021 at 19:04 0 comments

    I bought mine here:

    It seems that unfortunately, this model has been discontinued: newer models, however, do not have the same speed (up to 20Khz), unless you use very expensive ones.

    A search on Aliexpress suggests that probably they can still be found, but at higher prices (it was about 6-700 some years ago).

    At some point I was in touch with Keynote Photonics, as they were developing a projector base and the same schematics. The product was called , but it seems that now the optical part has changed.

    Currently I am searching for alternatives, that maybe are cheaper and easier to get.

  • "Open Frame" is now also documented!

    Madaeon11/05/2021 at 17:06 0 comments

    Hi, I got several requests about the Open Frame version. So now, a detailed Step file, Bom, and assembling guide are also available. Some details are still missign and will be uploaded soon.

  • VVD: what can it be used for? Education & Training

    Madaeon11/04/2021 at 14:04 0 comments

    It is not easy to keep a whole class interested in a lesson. Sometimes it seems that students are just bored and they are not absorbing any of the information you are hardly trying to teach. A suggestion can be to talk less and involve students more. The more the class is interactive and the more technology is used, the more students will enjoy what they are learning, because technology is what students nowadays live and breathe every day and they love it!  

    VVD: Volumetric Visualization Device, becomes a great tool to support the teacher in different ways like:    

    • explaining and developing students three-dimensional visual and sensory perception;
    • representing complex concept like mathematical or chemical formulas in their three dimensions;
    • display body parts, artifacts, animals or any 3D model that can relate to your lesson, instead of using mere pictures.

    Students can move around and fully understand model proportions. More people can watch the same model at the same time, encouraging discussion and opinions exchange with the teacher or among the students.

    Museums & Exhibitions

    The museum of the future must become a center for the community, a meeting and conversation place, where the public is involved in a continuous dynamism.   

    Normal display cases and graphics are more and more supported by videos, interactive displays, VR experience. When in need to show artifacts or archaeological finds which are not present in the museum but are related to the ongoing exhibition, museums make a wide use of pictures, drawings, schematic images. 

    VVD is a new affordable tool to make an exhibition visit more absorbing and interactive, to grab the attention of the public on special pieces we want to highlight. The front screen allows you to add captions, images, video and more information about the 3D models you are displaying.  

  • VVD: what can it be used for? MEDICAL

    Madaeon11/04/2021 at 14:02 0 comments

    VVD can create a new disruptive way to look at 3D imaging generated by 3D scanners or magnetic resonance scanners and computed tomography (CT) scanners , which can now be explored from any point of view, without additional glasses, opening up to endless applications in the medical sector and bringing key benefits such as:

    • Increasing patient awareness and education, with a much easier to understand visual explanation of the undergoing procedure;
    • Increasing efficiency and less unexpected issues in the operating room, since a surgeon can see a better 3D visualization of the involved body parts, allowing for a better understanding and preparation.
    • Medical experts can now study, discuss with their colleagues or explain to their students real case studies as 3D volumetric visualization that can be explored from any point of view, as if it was a real object in front of them.

  • The beginning of VVD project: how it works

    Madaeon11/04/2021 at 13:59 0 comments

    This was the first picture of the working VVD. You can see 2 Nema motors, and the oscillating arm on the left. How I got it to work?

    I can share this image since I started submitting for a patent, but in the end, I gave up. The project, which I developed all by myself from scratch, was still a prototype and not yet commercially viable product, I did not have marketing power to push it, or to involve some big companies, so I stopped working on it.

    Back to the picture, my solution was to have a rectangle of film for rear-projection, inside a thin plexiglass frame (100). It was suspended with 4 rubber bands on each angle (101). They were connected to two oscillating arms (102) moved up and down by 2 (or 4) stepper motors (103). By sweeping up and down the film, a volume was created (143), and by projecting a different image when the film is in a different vertical position, a volumetric image is created!

  • New promo video uploaded!

    Madaeon11/04/2021 at 13:52 0 comments

  • VVD for car data visualization?

    Madaeon07/16/2021 at 10:58 1 comment

    I made this short presentation some time ago, when I had the idea that the VVD system could also make a very cool interface in cars! It needed some optimization, sure, but I still think that it was a nice idea ;) Lumi Industries was the name of my startup. Unfortunately, the VVD did not became a commercial product.

  • The VVD: is it very similar to the VOXON display?

    Madaeon06/11/2021 at 16:52 3 comments

    After working on the VVD for several years, I found during an Internet search that this company, Voxon (they are based in Australia) has made a very similar device. There are some differences, however, in the motion system used on the VVD with the oscillating motors (that is not perfect, as you have to change the rubber bands after a ful day ;) ), and in general, their device is much more refined!

    The VVD is a protoype, and I have designed everything by myself, including all the Cad design, electronic design, writing of software and firmware, documenting with photos and pictures, and (trying to) promote it; in this task I kinda failed, since it never became a commercial product! ;)

  • VVD: what can it be used for? PROJECT DESIGN

    Madaeon06/11/2021 at 16:19 0 comments

    Working on a real three-dimensional visualization from every angle, VVD can help you get a better general view of your assembly of components, checking that all of them are right, proportionate, their coupling is correct. You can even review it with your colleagues, because you are all watching at the same time, anyone from his personal point of view. 

View all 12 project logs

  • 1
    Some assembling tips

    The Solidworks assembly and the BOM should be a good starting point for anyone willing to replicate the project. The "closed frame" design allows for some manual adjusting of the distance between the steppers, so it is easier to find the "seet spot" where the oscillating motion works at its best.

    Once you get a DLP lightcrafter, set up all the controling software (link in the components list), you will need to upload the 96 slices, set it up with trigger signal coming from an Arduino or similar board, or directly from the TMC1141.

  • 2
    1) CNC / laser cutting the plexiglass parts
    • CNC / laser cut the plexiglass parts "Ala laterale v1" --> 4 pieces needed. I used 3mm black acrylic / plexiglass.
    • CNC / laser cut the plexiglass parts "Central plate v1" --> 2 pieces needed. I used 3mm black acrylic / plexiglass.
    • CNC CUT the part "inner central plate". This part cannot be laser cut, because ther are slots and other features that require to be able to control the Z axis when manufacturing. 3mm transparent / frosted acrylic / plexiglass --> 2 pieces needed.
    • CNC cut or 3d print the file "VVD_04_PlexiSostegno_v2" --> 1 piece
    • CNC / laser cut the plexiglass part "basr1". 3mm black acrylic / plexiglass --> 1 piece
    • CNC / laser cut the plexiglass part "usb_plate". 3mm black acrylic / plexiglass --> 1 piece
    • CNC / laser cut the plexiglass part "dwn_plate1". 3mm black acrylic / plexiglass --> 1 piece
    • CNC / laser cut the plexiglass part "pwr_plate". 3mm black acrylic / plexiglass --> 1 piece
    • CNC / laser cut the plexiglass part "SingleSideElement". 3mm black acrylic / plexiglass --> 26 pieces needed.
  • 3
    2) 3D Print the parts

    3d print the parts:

    • "Connettore piastre side" (14x)
    • "StepperCap" (2X)
    • "Connettore Piastre side shorter" (6x)
    • "AstaMonopezzo1Mot" (2x)

    either with FFM, FDM, SLA, sintering,

View all 12 instructions

Enjoy this project?



176940627 wrote 03/14/2023 at 07:48 point

That's amazing. Does DLP need to be synchronized with the projection screen?

  Are you sure? yes | no

CodrinCrismariu wrote 12/26/2022 at 20:06 point

Hi, i know i'm kinda late on this post but do you think this dlp would work for a volumetric display like this? ( it's the only one left I could afford rn and 2.5 kHz seems enough 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Bluebotlabz wrote 05/30/2022 at 12:37 point

What refresh rate are you running the DLP at?

You mention that the DLP runs with a 20kHz refresh rate when considering alternatives, but in another comment, you say that it runs at only 4000Hz, so what refresh rate is it running at?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Madaeon wrote 05/30/2022 at 16:06 point

4Khz is the refresh of the DLP. The whole volumetric image has a refesh of ~20Hz.

  Are you sure? yes | no

J_M_Self wrote 11/05/2021 at 18:54 point

This project is amazing and I would totally buy one of these.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Madaeon wrote 11/06/2021 at 23:10 point


  Are you sure? yes | no


[this comment has been deleted]

Madaeon wrote 10/11/2021 at 08:44 point

What do you mean exactly?

  Are you sure? yes | no

ekaggrat singh kalsi wrote 07/28/2021 at 00:47 point

great project.! thanks for sharing the files. I had a look at them and was amazed by the simplicity of the design! I am guessing a lcd panel would have been too heavy to oscillate at this frequency.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Madaeon wrote 07/30/2021 at 14:18 point

The biggest problem with an LCD would be the low refresh rate. Even a 240Hz Lcd would be too slow. 4000Hz is the refresh speed of the DLP!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Tom Nardi wrote 06/25/2021 at 04:09 point

Incredible project, really looks like a glimpse of the future.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Madaeon wrote 06/30/2021 at 10:32 point


  Are you sure? yes | no

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