Researchers have developed a new printer that produces digital 3-D holograms with unprecedented levels of detail and realistic color. The new printer can be used to produce high-resolution color recreations of objects or scenes for museum exhibits, architectural models, fine art, or advertisements that do not require glasses or special viewing aids.
in The Optical Society (OSA) journal Applied Optics Researchers describe a new printer that creates wide-field holograms and full parallax on special photographic material they have designed. Full parallax holograms reconstruct the object so that it can be seen in all directions, in the case of a field of view covering 120 degrees.
The printer can create holograms from 3-D models generated by a computer or from scans acquired with a special scanner. developed by the researchers. High quality holograms can even be used as holographic craftsmen.
Building a Better Printer
When designing the new holographic printer, researchers carefully examined two previously developed holographic printer technologies to understand their advantages and disadvantages.
"Companies involved in the development of the first two generations of printers are ultimately faced with technical constraints and closed," Gentet said. "Our small, self-funded group has found it crucial to develop high-sensitivity, highly fine-grained photographic material, rather than using commercially available solid material like previous systems."
The CHIMERA printer uses red, green, and blue, low power continuous laser waves with lids that adjust the exposure for each laser by a few milliseconds. The researchers also created a special anti-vibration mechanical system to prevent the holographic plate from moving during recording.
Holograms are created by recording small holographic elements known as hogels, one after the other using three space light modulators and a custom design, a full-color optical print head that allows 120-degree parallax. After printing, holograms are developed in chemical tubs and sealed for protection.
The size of the hogel can be varied between 250 and 500 microns and the print speed is adjustable from 1 to 50 hertz (Hz). For example, if a 250 micron hog is used, the maximum print speed is 50 Hz. At this speed, it would take 11 hours to print a hologram measuring 30 by 40 centimeters, approximately half the time it would have taken using previous systems based on pulsed lasers.
High brightness and clarity
Researchers used the new technology to print holograms up to 60 by 80 centimeters in size, showing various colored objects, including toys, butterflies and museum objects.
"The new system offers a much wider field of vision, higher resolution and noticeably better color rendering and dynamic range than previous systems," Gentet said. "The full color holographic material we have developed provides improved brightness and clarity, while low power continuous wave lasers make the system easy to use."
Researchers say that as technology improves, especially 3-D software, it may be able to extend its hologram printing approach to medical or other advanced applications.
Create Full Color Moving Holograms in High Definition in 3-D
Yves Gentet et al, CHIMERA, a new holoprint technology combining continuous low power lasers and fast printing, Applied Optics (2019). DOI: 10.1364 / AO.58.00G226
The optical society
New Printer Creates Extremely Realistic Color Holograms (2019, November 2)
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