By Andy Rosen
FEBRUARY 07, 2018
It might be one of the most photographed places in the world, but New York’s Times Square has never seen a lens like this before.
As part of an art display for Valentine’s Day, the Somerville 3-D printing startup Formlabs created a giant lens by manufacturing 1,000 clear plastic tiles that was assembled into a 10-by-12-foot circular installation with a heart-shaped cutout in the middle.
Titled Window to the Heart, the installation has become a magnet for selfie seekers at the tourist hub. The tiles are assembled to create a Fresnel lens, which are flatter than traditional glass lenses and were originally used in lighthouses. The ring-like arrangement captures and exaggerates the light of the famous neon signs of Times Square, bending it toward the heart at its center and illuminating the installation in the process.