Moiré Explorer


Since I was a kid I was fascinated by the moiré effect when two overlapping patterns create another pattern / image.

After getting my Glowforge, I had cut out some regular patterns of holes and slots etc, and noticed they would create that same kind of interference pattern when overlapped. So I figured it would be a fun exercise to create a gadget with interchangable discs to explore the moire effect. I call it the Moiré Explorer

The first prototype was a simple C-shaped ring with captured bearings to let one disc turn in front of the other. The discs are transparent acrylic and look really cool when turned.


It’s also lively when viewed from different angles!


The final design is kind of a claw shape that can be displayed 3 different ways


The construction is 6 layers of PG wood, with spring-loaded bearings that pull the disc into the gadget and hold it steady relative to the fixed disc on the back


I’m still learning a lot about how to design moiré patterns, but now that I have this gadget, it’s really easy to cut a new design and play around with combinations :slight_smile:



Parts used for Explorer:

  • One sheet of proofgrade wood
  • 3 small bearings
  • 3 wooden dowels shafts
  • 6 thin plastic washers
  • a small amount of 1/16 thick acrylic (optional to keep disc steady, slide easily)


I regret that I can only like this one time. Love the design. The spring loaded retaining mechanism for the discs is so clever.


Wow!! What a cool idea! :star_struck:
Your build is very impressive. That’s a fidget spinner I can get behind. Anyone who has bearings and springs laying around is a gearhead friend of mine!Great share, thank you!

Edit; Cool website too!


Thanks Mark - I had a lot of fun geeking out on it!


I had a ‘my 12 year old self would be so jealous’ moment when i realized i didn’t have to leave the house for parts - not to mention the whoa of owning of a laser cutter!


Very cool!


This has to be just about the most unique item I’ve seen created on a Glowforge! I’m really impressed. Well done!


That deserves to be picked up by Make and by any other tech/maker site. It’s a top five project in my book. Very creative.

Somewhere along the line there was a moire business card that was pretty cool. This is the best!


That’s beautiful. I hope you’re planning to sell them, 'cause I want one! :slight_smile:


Yesssssss! Moire is such a great simple effect and this is a great implementation.


Great attention to detail. I checked out your website. I like where your head is at. Thank you for sharing. Please treat us to more of your projects.

Happy New year! :sparkler:


All my likes!! (Well, just one since I can’t give you more :smile: )


What amazing fun!!! Fabulous project!


Thanks so much for all the positive comments! It’s been a great way to learn the ins and outs of GF design and lasering

I’m wrapping up a few final adjustments, and will be sharing the design files so people can make their own. Also hoping to find time to do a quick write-up / how-to


really nice build!


WOW. This is super cool. I so appreciate your sharing this.


This is so cool! Especially since I saw it on reddit first, thought “wow that would be a cool Glowforge project” and come here to find out you’re its creator!


This is awesome. I wonder if it could be repurposed as a device to explore musical harmony (which also relies on interfering frequencies). Perhaps add an optical scanner and let two discs spin freely?


Using moiré as a music creation tool sounds pretty neat! Probably get some really avant-garde sounds out of it


Hypnotizing! This is such a neat little device. Can’t wait to see what other designs you come up with. :slight_smile: