Guide The Illusion of Creating a Text

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Squares are the fundamental building blocks of any design system. After shift-dragging out a square in Sketch, you may sometimes take a double look to see if each of the sides are of equal proportions. If you look close enough, the vertical sides appear longer than the horizontal sides. But actually, it is a perfect square.

This is known as the vertical-horizontal illusion. People who live in developed urban cities tend to show greater susceptibility than people living in rural areas. This is because those in rural areas tend to be more accustomed to living in round houses. If a false shadow falls on a surface, did it cast an illusion? Placing shades of the same colour adjacent to each other was a common trend during the flat design era. Looking closely, you may have noticed a false shadow appearing between the edges of each contrasting shade.

This illusion is known as Mach bands.

The technical explanation for the occurrence of this effect is due to lateral inhibition , meaning the darker area falsely appear even darker and the lighter area falsely appearing even lighter. Although this effect is fairly subtle in the world of visual design, to prove its influence Mach bands can be a real hindrance for dental practitioners. X-rays of teeth generate grayscale images used to analyse abnormal variances of intensity.

Mach bands can provide a false-positive diagnosis if not identified correctly. What about watching a video consisting of a TV in the background displaying wiggly lines? The two grid patterns in this case are the image and monitor refreshing constantly to create the illusion. This sensory technique is rather popular within the Op Art community. To appear, or not to appear, that is the question. The Hermann grid illusion is fairly popular and can be seen in layouts which contain a grid of squares placed on a high contrast background.

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Looking directly at any square produces ghost-like blobs at the intersections of the surrounding squares. The reason for this effect is due to lateral inhibition. To put it simply, it is the capacity of an excited neuron reducing the neighbouring neurons in the latter direction. Are both detached squares reflecting the same amount of light?

Placing two objects of the same colour on different contrasted backgrounds can make both objects appear as if they are in fact different colours. This phenomena is known as the Simultaneous Contrast Illusion. Contrast in king in the world of visual design and this effect may differ for some people. Lateral inhibition , which is responsible for the Hermann Grid and Mach Bands is one reason. This illusion is fairly subtle, but nonetheless fascinating!

Breaking the illusion of completeness

Looking at the GIF above, the blocks of purple on the left appear lighter than the purple blocks on the right. Your model should be finished at this point. It is time to save it although it is good practice to continually save along the way.

Step 1: How It Works

Remember earlier when I said most Slicers use millimeters as their default units? Simply click the "Units" item in the design tree as shown in Figure Next select millimeters from the drop down in the menu as shown in Figure Lastly click "OK" as shown in Figure The model will stay the same physical size with converted units.

Save your part as a CAD file. This will come in handy if you have to modify things after printing. As shown in Figure As seen in Figure You now need to save a ". STL's are stereo-lithography files made up of triangles and just happen to be what the 3D printing world decided to standardize as the file type for slicing software.

Select the "File" drop down again and click the 3D Print option Figure Also click the arrow next to "Output. While it is deselected we will be able to save our STL so we can open it in a slicer. Check the box next to "Preview Mesh. As you can see in Figure As noted in Figure You will want enough triangles on a curve that it will actually appear to be a curve once printed, but you don't need so many that your mesh looks like it's solid black around a curve.


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If you find your slicer is running too slowly later, you can return and save an STL again with relaxed deviation settings. Because text can have lots of round edges, which take a lot of triangles to smooth out, your STL file size can be huge! These large files take a long time for slicers to process. The smaller the file size of your STL, the faster the slicer will run. To save a smaller file return to the 3D print refinement settings as detailed in Figures Adjust the deviation sliders to make your mesh more coarse.

If you adjust the settings to be too coarse, however, your model will look polygonized. For parts of a more artistic nature where fit isn't an issue, such as this illusion, you can use a large deviation without noticing changes to your finished part. After all, what is a few thousandths among friends?

Now it's time to convert your STL model into something a 3D printer can interpret. Slicing software will accomplish this by "slicing" your STL file into layers. Each layer will be filled with paths for your printer to follow. These paths will be saved as gcode, which is a text language that your printer can read.

Open your slicing software. I am using Slic3r simply because I spent the most time tweaking my print settings in it. Load your model by clicking the "Add" button Figure Position the model on the plater build surface to your liking by clicking the model and dragging it Figure I like to print on the back surface of the text so that the perimeters of the letters are drawn smoothly by the printer Figure To rotate your part, right click on the part, select rotate, and type the desired angle of rotation for the corresponding axis of rotation X is red, Y is green, Z is blue.

If you modeled the base text on the XY plane, as done in this example with Fusion , your part will already be facing the correct direction. TIP: If you print with the letters standing how they are intended to sit on your desk the perimeters of the letters will be layered and not look as crisp. Printing on the back also helps avoid the need for extra support material. If we were to print the letters standing up, characters like "T" would need support in order to print the overhangs accurately. TIP 2: To avoid having to guess the angle of rotation for your model in a slicer, model it in Fusion in the orientation you want it to print.

Most printers build platforms correspond to the XY plane. Adjust your print settings. In this example PLA filament settings are shown in Figures As seen in the Figure A wide print like this tends to warp and detach from the print surface so a brim is cheap insurance against a failed print. This print ended up sticking very well and I wished I didn't used a brim because it was frustrating to remove it from between letters.


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  • You must choose whether you want to print support material at this point Figure There will likely be overhangs which have no underlying surface on which to print detailed later in Figures If you have this condition and don't print support there will nothing for the plastic to stick to on these layers. This will ruin your print or, at best, create flying-spaghetti-monster-like strands you will need to grind off.

    However, unless you have soluble support or really good model material support settings, there will probably be some picking and grinding to remove the supports anyway. As seen in my settings Figure Slic3r did a good job with the support this time anyway as you will see later. I have printed the illusion acceptably without support the example of my name had no support , but I did have to grind some "spaghetti" from the bottom of overhangs.

    Wait for Slic3r to finish computing if auto-compute turned off, click "Export to G-code and save in order to compute and click on the "Preview" tab at the bottom of the window Figure You will now see your print paths modeled in 3D. Figure The skirt and brim are detailed in Figure You can use the slider on the right side of the graphics area to move through the layers of print paths Figure Figures For this print the case shown in Figure Since the small bit of model shown there is detached from the rest of the body, the remaining few layers will have nothing to bridge to.

    If you don't like what you see after investigating your paths, go back and change your print settings, or load your CAD model in Fusion and adjust your model. When you are satisfied with the print paths, export your file to gcode by clicking the "Export to G-code" button shown in Figure Pick where you want to save your file and click "Save" Figure Load your gcode file onto your printer.

    I put the file on an SD card and run the printer stand alone. This printer is on an large uninterruptible power supply so running stand alone allows the print continue for a few hours if the power goes out. Make sure your printer is calibrated. Every once in a while it is good to check that the leveling and Z axis zero height are still proper. It is especially important on a wide part like this so that the first layer has excellent adherence to the bed. Heat the build surface. On this printer the center of the build surface reaches temperature before the outer regions, so I let the heat soak in the bed a while to help the first layer of plastic stick.

    I use an infrared thermometer to check when the outer edges of the build surface are up to the set temperature. It is a good idea to watch the first layer go down to make sure there aren't clearance issues and everything is sticking. The second GIF of this step shows the printer moving about for 3 hours as it prints. TIP: Hobby grade printers aren't always refined machines. If you value your house don't leave your printer running while you are not home and keep a fire extinguisher handy. Admire your finished print as it magically sits on the printer Figures There was nothing on the build plate before the print.

    Now there is an illusion. Was printing itself the illusion? Is this an illusion within an illusion? Full disclosure - this was the 3rd print attempt. Get out your favorite picking, plucking, sanding, and grinding tools. Gloves and safety glasses are a good idea as well. Pick , pluck, and grind away from yourself. I have often thought "I might stab myself while trying to pick off this piece of support.

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    Don't do that. Grind with low RPMs. I bought a flexible shaft rotary grinder just for cleaning up prints because it can run very slowly with high torque. This will keep the plastic from melting while you grind resulting in nice clean plastic chips. These aren't food chips. Don't eat them. Dream about soluble support. Make your final touch ups. I like to remove the last bit of lip left over from the 5mm brim with a deburring tool. I decided to sand the printing marks off the top face of the print. I rough sanded with 80 grit and finished with grit as shown in Figure Therefore I couldn't use acetone to melt the matte surface back to shiny.

    I suggest you don't sand if using PLA, as sanding makes the cut out text surfaces stand out due to the different color. You can see this by comparing Figure Put your hard work on display! You earned it for making your way though this entire Instructable! Reply 3 years ago. Pretty much all of the menu option are different for my version of , so it's a bit hard to follow along.

    I'm also new to the program. Looks like 2. Everybody who has seen this wants one - simply because it's awesome. BrutalEngineer should get the 3D Printer at least one!

    the illusion of creating a text Manual

    Great project! This is another one for my list - the list of things I am going to make when I get time. The illusory percepts that can be evoked range from simple phosphenes detections of lights in the visual field to high-level percepts. In a single-case study on a patient undergoing presurgical evaluation for epilepsy treatment, electrical stimulation at the left temporo-parietal junction evoked the percept of a nearby illusory person who "closely 'shadowed' changes in the patient's body position and posture".

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about perception. For figures of speech, see allusion. For other uses, see Illusion disambiguation. Main article: Optical illusion. Main article: Auditory illusion. Main article: Tactile illusion. Cognitive psychology 6th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Visual Comm. Image Representation, 19 1 , First-order modeling and stability analysis of illusory contours.

    Lead visitors through a design

    Journal of Sensory Studies 19, Perception 39, Jan The sensory system. Sensory receptor Multisensory integration Sensory processing Chemoreception. Encoding Storage Recall Consolidation.