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The first design of a FlashDisc

What is a FlashDisc?

FlashDisc paper cut pattern

FlashDiscs or FDs are rotating, and exchangeable Discs usually made with paper and patterns on it, that start moving with a flashing light source. It is an homage to good old CompactDiscs on the one hand, and the film-effects of the French Phenakistiskopes from the 1830ies on the other hand.

At the workshop, you will build a modern version that creates astonishing light and color-mixing effects.

For more Pictures and Videos, visit these Pages:


The workshop will be split in two parts.

Soldering a FlashDisc Player

In the first part you will build a FD-Player as illustrated in the following pictures. This is where you start:

FlashDisc Kit

And here is finished Player:

FlashDisc V3 finished

Building this FlashDisc-Player involves soldering with some small SMD-Parts (6 LEDs, a microprocessor, 4 transistors, 3 resistors, a capacitor, a diode, a USB-C connector only used for Power Supply, a simple joy-stick).

More about building the FD-Player: https://github.com/schaum/FlashDisc

Design of FlashDiscs

FlashDisc glued objects
FlashDisc hand cut pattern

The second part of the workshop will be all about creating Disc-Designs. There are several approaches to design Discs with cool effects, that we can test and explore. We will need some dark space to be able to see as well subtle patterns. Techniques that proved to work well:

  • Paper-Cuttings by machine or by hand with different types of paper
  • drawing, copying or gluing patterns using angle measuring devices, stencils
  • throwing shadows to screens
  • ideas for rotating 3D-Objects can be discussed (search for 3D Zoetrope)

Some keys to well-working designs are precise angles, high contrasts / color differences in the design (no gray scales), a dark place to play your FDs.

Be careful not to look directly into the flashing LEDs, and if you are sensitive to fast flashing lights.

Make ART and prevent light pollution!

FlashDisc Projektion auf kurze Distanz mit Mattscheibe