This 3D-Printed Optical Illusion Breaks the Rules of Physics

Can you trust your own eyes? This video might be one strong case for a resounding, “No!” Even after the trick behind the magic is revealed, it’s hard to make your brain parse the truth.  Although this ball seems to defy gravity and roll up the hill, what is transpiring is actually a 3D-printed optical illusion.

YouTuber Shirahaha walks viewers through the illusion. He begins by showing off what looks to be a simple, four-legged raised platform. According to your eyes, a ball placed at the foot of the platform should roll down the structure… But instead, in a physics-breaking feat, it rolls… up. The same thing happens on the other leg as well.

But how can this be? The truth lies in a clever feat of design. This structure actually comprises of four sets of stairs that all point down. However, when the model is shifted to a specific angle, down becomes up. The 3D-printed optical illusion can only happen from exactly the right spot. Though the video shows the magic behind the trick, but when one rewinds, it remains nearly impossible to see anything but the illusion. Seeing really is believing, it seems! And 3D printing is a key to making the impossible, possible.

3D printed optical illusion shows marble rolling up a ramp instead of down


The creator of the design Julian Hardy further shares:

I offer this first attempt to print the visual illusion of balls rolling uphill. When viewed from the correct angle, this piece should give the illusion that all 4 ramps slope up to the middle platform. Viewing from any other angle gives the game away.

The design is available for free, so you can 3D print your own optical illusion. Now you can convince your friends you have become the Sorcerer Supreme and can defy the laws of the universe. Just don’t let the power go to your head!

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