Rayform provides a unique technology for artists and designers, allowing them to “sculpt” light. This enables completely new design and storytelling opportunities to provoke memorable experiences. The key to this technology is a computer algorithm that calculates the 3D surface needed to create any target image from light. By slightly modifying the shape of a transparent or reflective surface according to the algorithm’s calculations, incoming light rays are redirected to form amazingly clear and highly detailed light images on nearby surfaces.

Rayform is a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) based on the founders’ award-winning research on computational caustic design. For more information about the scientific underpinnings of the technology, see our research website.




Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does Rayform's technology work?

A: We modify the surface of an object so that light rays hitting it are redirected to produce an image. It’s the same physical principle as a magnifying lens or a curved mirror. In a first step, we use our computer algorithms to calculate the surface needed to produce the desired image out of light. The result is a 3D file that can be fabricated in a second step.

Q: What is Rayform's business model?

A: Based on our client's specifications, we calculate the 3D surface using our algorithms which we deliver in the form of a 3D file. We charge a fixed cost per project that includes the license for the production of a certain amount of units. 

Q: Do you change the interior of the object?

A: No, we only modify the surface of the object. The base material and its internal structure stays exactly the same, leading to a simple manufacturing process.

Q: Will the light images be visible in any configuration?

A: We calculate the image for one specific configuration of light, object, and position of the image. The image will be best reproduced around this configuration. When moving away from this ideal configuration, the image will slowly warp and disappear. Have a look at this video to see an example of these dynamics.

Q: Are the images visible in the object itself?

A: In most cases the image cannot be seen on the object. The surface is linked to the image mathematically, but by eye usually appears slightly wavy (depending on the target image.) For reflective objects, the waviness is often imperceptible. The image will appear as if by magic only when the object is illuminated.