Space Theatre - Light art installation

The Space Theatre light art installation was originally a successful art grant recipient project for the Maitreya festival to be held in March 2016, however this festival did not go ahead. Luckily the Space Theatre was able to be displayed at the Plan B festival in October 2016.

The Space Theatre is a 3D lightwork consisting of over 2000 LEDs. It uses over 27 metres of programmable APA-102C LEDs driven by a Raspberry Pi A+, and powered by two 200W power supplies. It has 488 solder joins which were done by hand. The animation was created using a custom software developed and fine-tuned over the last 12 months by Elec-tron. This specialised software allows animation blocks to be run concurrently at fast speeds.

The animation sequence depicted the birth and death of a star at the mercy of a black hole:

The Space Theatre begins with a big bang.
From this energy a Blue Planet is born - it grows from a flicker to a brightly glowing orb.
A field of blue energy surrounds it, forming into rings.
A Black Hole slowly forms and it begins to consume the stars in its vicinity, 
its power increases until it is strong enough to draw energy from the Blue Planet.
When the Black Hole finally consumes all of the light in the galaxy,
it explodes in a flash of fiery light and this end marks the beginning.

In this post you can see how this idea progressed from concept, to initial design, to a full scale prototype, and onto the final build.

The original proposal inspiration images and mock-up 

3D design with actual measurements

Rough prototype to scale (the cardboard is misbehaving slightly)

Laser cutting the Black Hole

The rings of the Blue Planet are created from aluminium rods

Black Hole and Blue Planet - finally together!

Adding LEDs to the Black Hole

Soldering LEDs together and first light test

Custom clips had to be designed and 3D printed to hold the LED strips to the perspex ring

A custom LED strip holder had to be designed and 3D printed to go into the centre of the Blue Planet. The specific animation that was run on this part of the installation was designed to make the Blue Planet look like it was turning

Power box for the Black Hole

Back of the Black Hole before it is sealed off for waterproofing

Powered by Raspberry PI! Prepared and coded by Elec-tron

First full colour light test

Close up of the planet

Installed in a tree at PLan B festival

It's beautiful!