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Make Your Own Invisibility Cloak With a 3D Printer 80

cylonlover writes "Invisibility cloaks have been around in various forms since 2006, when the first cloak based on optical metamaterials was demonstrated. The design of cloaking devices has come a long way in the past seven years, as illustrated by a simple, yet highly effective, radar cloak developed by Duke University Professor Yaroslav Urzhumov, that can be made using a hobby-level 3D printer."
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Make Your Own Invisibility Cloak With a 3D Printer

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  • I'd love to meet this professor, and be like "what? did I hear something? who is there! I don't see anyone!"

    • by NonUniqueNickname ( 1459477 ) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:31AM (#43709909)
      You will see him hiding behind a big off-white disc with holes in it. Call me a nitpicker, but to me "invisible" is the opposite of "visible", which is the defining characteristic of what we call visible light. Being being undetectable to 10GHz frequencies, while impressive in its own light (haha), is most certainly not invisibility.
      • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:41AM (#43710039) Homepage

        Well, it's invisible to that spectrum. And if you're invisible to radar, it is a limited form of 'invisible'.

        Besides, inradarible sounds stupid. :-P

        • IIRC ever since Champions 4th edition you could buy your invisibility to specific sense groups, and vision was further subdivided into normal, IR/UV, and radar/radio. So *clearly* this counts as Invisibility, since it costs points.

        • b-2 pilots approve.

      • simple, yet highly effective, radar cloak

        I know they used the word 'invisibility' which implies visual, but they do identify it as being invisible to radar.

      • Move along (Score:5, Funny)

        by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:58AM (#43710271) Journal

        Nothing to see here

      • Given that the visibility you're talking about is less than 10% of the entire spectrum, I'd disagree and say that invisibility to any particular part of the spectrum, especially the parts used for detection of any kind is pretty damned impressive.
        • Less than 10% of infinity?

          The electromagnetic spectrum doesn't exactly have an upper bounds (unless you count theoretical limits that are extremely likely to be disproven.

          • Less than 10% of infinity?

            Of course some one just HAS to bring in the theoretical limits of the subject and muddy my point. I'm an engineer, I deal in practicality. Don't you have something better to do?

      • Call me a nitpicker, but to me "invisible" is the opposite of "visible", which is the defining characteristic of what we call visible light. Being being undetectable to 10GHz frequencies, while impressive in its own light (haha), is most certainly not invisibility.

        I DON'T see what you did there! "Being partially invisible by being undetectable..."
        Haha, Good One!

        You're right, full EM spectrum cloaking is out of our grasp at present, and the fact that you can print a sub-light frequency invisibility cloak with a hobby grade 3D printer pales in comparison to making multiple words disappear at broadband speeds with a high tech computing device. My hat's off to you good sir!

        I wonder other are in there?
        I , but can't tell am doing right.

      • Suddenly, large off-white disc shaped vehicles will be sought after for speed enthusiasts!

  • Wouldn't this be similar to black holes in that although you can't see them, behavior of stars around them and energy emanating from them suggest that they are there?

    • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:33AM (#43709941)
      Radar is very 1 dimensional. A radio wave, imagined as a vector or ray, bounces off the material and then back at the receiving dish. If it doesn't, nothing is there as far as they can tell. However, if you broadcast on one side of the material and then received on the opposite side with a grid of multiple receivers, that might give away that something is there.

      Though I think with this cloak, you wouldn't know specifically where it is. Radio waves warping around it would be received but not in the correct location unless you projected a grid of frequencies directly at it and then watched what geometric pattern they were received in then reversed it. You wouldn't know the object's exact location otherwise. Any cloak that simply makes the radar waves disappear though would show up easily. I believe this one does wrap the waves around though, instead of just absorbing them, just they wouldn't arrive quite correctly aligned on the other side the way they would if there was no object there so like I said, a grid would tell you the radar waves are being bent by something.
      • Modern AESA radars [] do not have single transmit-receive elements but are arrays of many elements. Modern fleets and air combat wings also usually share the radar data via datalinks so they have information of more than one radar available.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:39AM (#43710025)

      Read up on how they work ;-)

      In short, no, they're not like blackholes.

      The principle behind them is that emmissons heading into the cloak are routed around the object and then leave, and here's the clever bit, in a direction and intensity equal to what would happen if the invisible object wasn't there.

      A drawback of this is, if you were building your cloak on the observable spectrum, if your inside the cloak you can't see anything outside of it (as all the incoming light gets diverted around you)! Admittedly it's only a draw back if looking around you is important, there's good reasons not to care and cool applications e.g. building a sea platform that is invisible to incoming waves (google it, my brain hurts from remembering so much already)

  • I read about it a week ago, but I think nobody could see it back then...
  • It isn't a cloak, it's a frisbee with some badly made holes in it.

    • by Arker ( 91948 )
      Well, to be fair, it is a cloaking device. Much larger than the device it would cloak, and it only cloaks from microwaves, which are not the most common electromagnetic waves you would want to cloak yourself from. The size issues, and covering the rest of the spectrum (including radar and visible light) is supposedly a matter of engineering now. Time will tell.
  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:30AM (#43709897)

    "ahhhhh, 3D printers, is there anything they can't do"

    "certainly Homer, they can't make doughnuts"


    ".....stupid 3D printers......."

  • by Skiron ( 735617 ) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:32AM (#43709925) Homepage

    ...but now I can't find my 3D printer

  • I print out the Marauder's Map?

    • You probably won't learn those spells until at least your 4th year at Hogwart's, and you might need to find some people who are pretty skilled at magic and mischief (and maybe even turning themselves into an animagus). ;-)

    • Repeat after me: "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good". Gee, read the manual!
  • Great! Now I can make my new 3D gun invisible

  • by PPH ( 736903 )

    Can I make a holster out of this and carry my Glock through the scanners at the airport? No need to print a stupid plastic gun.

    I'm just asking this to get crazy California legislators' panties in a bunch.

    • I'm guessing it's possible if you can tune it to the frequencies used by the scanners and make it spherical to hide the gun inside.

  • Between the printable weaponry and this printable cloak..... Maybe those who create enemies need to stop doing that.
    Hmmm, now I wonder if mods will cloak me...

  • Want to take my guns?! You'll have to find them!!!
  • by misexistentialist ( 1537887 ) on Monday May 13, 2013 @11:55AM (#43710921)
    Before the terrorists and pedophiles use it to hide their crimes.
  • by Jacek Poplawski ( 223457 ) on Monday May 13, 2013 @11:56AM (#43710933)

    You can see him through the holes. It works for radar not for human eyes.

  • So, ua, I looked for the download to verify the claim; nothing. I guess someone at Duke is, self medicating?
  • First undetectable plastic guns printed on a 3D printer.

    Now we can have undetectable assassins as well.

    Ninjas are now obsolete.

    There ought to be a law against this sort of thing. Won't someone PLEASE think of the Children?!?!?

  • picture or it didn't happen

  • Be careful not to tell Californian senator Leland Yee, he is already throwing a fit about 3D printed guns, if you tell him that an INVISIBILITY CLOAK can be printed with a 3D printer, then that's it, the guy will have a freaking heart attack while pushing for a bill that would declare 3D printers military grade technology that must be strictly prohibited for civilian use.

    I can imagine him talking about it: they will have 3D printed guns and they will put on their 3D printed invisibility cloaks and then they

  • A 1/5 energy reduction is the equivalent of -7dBsm, hardly what would be considered invisible in the radar world. And whatever you're trying to hide has to fit entirely within the cylinder, whose size is almost certainly dictated by frequency - the larger you make it, the lower the narrow frequency it hides from. Aside from that, there's no information given on co- or cross-polarization measurements. And only one look angle was measured - i.e., it only works from edge-on. Tilt the disk a little and there go

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