Awesome 3D-printed holographic display lets you play 'Snake' in 3 dimensions

Want to relive the heady days of the late 1990s, but with some awesomely futuristic-looking tech instead of fear about the impending millennium bug and a soundtrack comprised of terrible nu-metal bands? Want to do so while putting your do-it-yourself skills to the test?

If so, you are the perfect candidate to enjoy a new Instructables project created by user Gelstronic. He is built a 3D point-of-view holographic display, called PropHelix, which uses a spinning helix of LED strips to create a versatile three-dimensional moving image. Each rotation of the LED helix creates 120 frames of movement for an overall effect that is straight out of the movie Tron.

One of the (multiple) uses for such a cool piece of hardware? Playing Snake of course, aka the beloved mobile game that munched up hours of time for anyone old enough to have owned a chunky Nokia cellphone.

snake 3d holographic display f6e5ka1j20pcux1 large

“In my project, I use a spinning helix of LED strips,” Gelstronic writes about his project. “There are a total of 144 LEDs that can display 17,280 voxels with 16 colors. The voxels are arranged circularly in 12 levels. The LEDs are controlled by only one micro-controller.”

Although we just get a sneak peek at how a game like Snake looks in action in Gelstronic’s video, it looks pretty darn awesome. Next to having a 3D holographic version of Super Street Fighter II, it is hard to think of a title which inspires more nostalgia-tinged reverence among its target demographic.

Gelstronic could definitely have gone the Kickstarter route with his creation but has instead made the necessary files and instructions available for free online so that you can build your own. You need access to a 3D printer, a bit of Arduino experience and an assortment of other pieces to do so, but the effort would definitely be worthwhile.

Check out the detailed instructions here.

Emerging Tech

From the moon to mass production: 10 pieces of modern tech indebted to Apollo

This article is part of Apollo: A Lunar Legacy, a multi-part series that explores the technological advances behind Apollo 11, their influence on modern day, and what's next for the moon. You may have heard that freeze-dried food was…
Gaming

These awesome free-to-play games might be even better than the ones you paid for

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
Gaming

Get Nindie with it and check out these awesome indie games for the Switch

The Nintendo Switch's portability makes indies feel at home on the platform. Luckily, there are plenty of great titles to choose from. Here are our picks for the best Nintendo Switch indie games.
Gaming

Did your PS1 favorite make our list of the best PlayStation games?

Take a stroll down memory lane with the 50 best games ever released for the original PlayStation. From all-time classics like Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil 2 to quirky gems like PaRappa the Rapper, the PS1 had it all.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Photography

50 years later, the first camera on the moon is still collecting lunar dust

The cameras aboard Apollo 11 captured some of history's most iconic images, including shots of Earth and footprints on the lunar surface. To commemorate the first moon landing, we look back at how Hasselblad's stripped shooters came to be.
Cars

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Wearable chargers and A.I.-enhanced keyboards

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover enters its final year of engineering before launch

The countdown has begun for the last year of development before the Mars 2020 launches between July 17, 2020 and August 5, 2020. Progress on finalizing the rover is right on track, according to NASA.
Emerging Tech

Could Mars’ now-barren Gale Crater lake have once supported life?

The Gale Crater is the site of an ancient lake which existed for millions of years. But even after the lake disappeared, groundwater could have remained for billions of years. Now, a team of scientists is searching for clues of life there.
Emerging Tech

Practically perfect in every way: Hubble shows galaxy with amazing symmetry

This week's Hubble image shows the spiral galaxy NGC 2985, located over 70 million light-years away. Hubble scientists describe NGC 2985 as having near-perfect symmetry, showing tightly wound spiral arms which converge in the center.
Emerging Tech

Harvard University has a bold new plan to make Mars livable for humans

Want to live on Mars? Harvard researchers have a bold new way to make it happen. Their plan involves covering portions of Mars with an insulating aerogel. Here's why it could work.
Emerging Tech

China’s space station, Tiangong-2, has burned up in the atmosphere

China's space station, Tiangong-2, has burned up in the Earth's atmosphere as part of a planned deorbit. It was originally scheduled to be in space for two or three years, but it survived longer than expected and spent 1,000 days in space.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Artemis capsule is complete, will carry the first woman to the moon

The crew capsule which will carry American astronauts to the moon as part of the Artemis project has been completed. The completion of the Artemis 1 capsule was announced by Vice President Mike Pence.
Emerging Tech

Three new astronauts join the International Space Station crew for Expedition 60

Exactly fifty years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon, a new team of astronauts from NASA, Roscosmos, and ESA have arrived at the International Space Station to begin their stay there.