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About the XANADU logo

The scientific secrets behind the creation of the XANADU logo

By Emanuel Larsson, researcher at Antigen Presentation,  Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund University.


A straightforward idea would have been to just create the XANADU logo in a text compiler or graphical text design software. However, we felt that there was a need to incorporate some scientific knowledge into the making of the XANADU logo.

Method & Results

XANADU letters where design in Fusion 360 and then 3D printed using Zortrax, model M200 Plus. The letters were then individually scanned using a so-called Kitchen-based light tomography (KBLT) scanner [1], apart from the letter A, which was only scanned once. KBLT is a DIY (Do it yourself) project, available on GitHub [2], which uses visible light from a flashlight together with a Raspberry Pi (single-board computer), a stepper motor and a USB-camera, to educate and train new users, prior to carrying out a real X-ray or Neutron tomographic experiments.

Workflow of the creation of the XANADU logo.
Workflow of the creation of the XANADU logo.

Hereinafter, the 3D volume of each letter was reconstructed using TomoPy [3] via user-friendly Python code in Jupyter Notebooks, directly in the web browser. The reconstructed 3D letters were then imported into Blender [4], whereinafter a 3D mesh of the letters was created, followed by the application of a 3D surface rendering in gold. The created rendering of the XANADU logo was then exported the as a PNG file, with a transparent background. The logo was then added to a flyer. Additional presentation videos, where the letters of XANADU were animated or with a sweeping background image of the XANADU Garden [5] or an image of the famous XANADU song by Oliva Newton John [6] were also created.


The creation of this logo was possible with support from CIPA - Image Processing and Analysis research infrastructure at Lund University [7] and InfraVis [8] - The National Research Infrastructure For Data Visualization.

[1] Larsson, Emanuel, Doğa Gürsoy, and Stephen A. Hall. "Kitchen-based light tomography-a DIY toolkit for advancing tomography-by and for the tomography community." Tomography of Materials and Structures 1 (2023): 100001. 
Link to article on the website.

[2] E. Larsson, KBLT - kitchen-based light tomography, GitHub. (visited on 2024.04.17).

[3] TomoPy - an open-source Python package for tomographic data processing and image reconstruction, (visited on 2024.04.17).

[4] Blender.  
Blender website.(visited on 2024.04.17).

[5] XANADU, World History Encyclopedia,
About XANADU on the World history website.  (visited on 2024.04.17).

[6] Xanadu | Olivia Newton-John & Gene Kelly's '80s/'40s Hybrid E.L.O. Roller Disco, Universal Pictures, YouTube, 
Xanadu music video on (visited on 2024.04.17).

[7] CIPA - Image Processing and Analysis research infrastructure at Lund University.
The CIPA website.  (visited on 2024.04.17).

[8] InfraVis - The National Research Infrastructure For Data Visualization.
The National Research Infrastructure For Data Visualization website. (visited on 2024.04.17).