Re-Programmable Colour-Change

Development of a re-programmable multi-colour coating system that enables objects to be re-coloured multiple times. The coating system consists of a series of photochromic dyes that respond to different wavelengths of light, and therefore by controlling the wavelength of light that shines on the coating, we can activate and deactivate each dye to gain a variety of colours in the CMY colour spectrum. This coating system can be applied to a wide variety of objects including textiles, metal, and 3D printed plastics.


Photo-Chromeleon: Re-Programmable Multi-Color Textures Using Photochromic Dyes

In this paper, we present a method to create re-programmable multi-color textures that are made from a single material only. The key idea builds on the use of photochromic inks that can switch their appearance from transparent to colored when exposed to light of a certain wavelength. By mixing cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMY) photochromic dyes into a single solution and leveraging the different absorption spectra of each dye, we can control each color channel in the solution separately. Our approach can transform single-material fabrication techniques, such as coating, into high-resolution multi-color processes. 

We discuss the material mixing procedure, modifications to the light source, and the algorithm to control each color channel. We then show the results from an experiment in which we evaluated the available color space and the resolution of our textures. Finally, we demonstrate our user interface that allows users to transfer virtual textures onto physical objects and show a range of application examples.