About a month ago, I wrote about the latest advances in invisibility cloak technology. There is a new technique called mantle cloaking that cancels out the light waves so you never see them in the first place, which creates a transparent effect. Now it seems the researchers at Duke University have done some innovating of their own, and they’ve basically created a DIY invisibility cloak using 3D printing technology and microwave beams. If someone has a 3D printer and a couple hours, this is totally do-able.
Yaroslav Urzhumov and his colleagues published their findings here on Optics InfoBase. Using sterolithographic technology, they created the device you see below which looks like a Frisbee with holes in it. Different algorithms determine the dimension and size of each hole, which will deflect the microwave beams.
According to Phys.org, “The disk-like cloak has an open area in its center where the researchers placed an opaque object. When microwave beams were aimed at the object through the side of the disk, the cloak made it appear that the object was not there.” By using the same technique, this could be repeated on a much larger scale.
The microwave beams are strategically guided and sent back into the empty space in the shadow of the cloak. Very similarly to the article I wrote last month with advances by physicists at the University of Texas at Austin (linked above), it seems that with this method also, creating an invisibility cloak is all about manipulating light beams, or in this case, microwave beams. You can click over to the source articles below for more detailed information. As powerful as 3D printing is, who would ever think it could also help advance our ability to create an invisibility cloak too? I’m looking forward to seeing if anyone else with a 3D printer tries this method.
DIY Invisibility Cloak (Requires 3D Printer & Big Brain)
Download How They Did It Here On: Optics InfoBase