Researchers are developing third generation digital holographic printers


This printer is capable of making high-resolution digital 3D holograms with realistic colors.
The printer helps create high-quality objects or sights for museum exhibitions, architectural models, fine arts, or advertisements that do not require glass or special display aids.

“Our 15-year research project aims to build a hologram printer with all the benefits of previous technology while eliminating some of the disadvantages of expensive lasers, slow print speeds, limited fields of view and unsaturated ink,” said team leader Yves Gentet of Ultimate Holography in France.

“We developed the CHIMERA printer, which uses low-cost commercial lasers and high-speed printing to make high-quality color holograms with a wide dynamic range.”

In developing a new printer, Yves Gentet and his colleague Philip Gentet from Kwangwon University have studied two holographic printer technologies developed previously to understand their strengths and weaknesses.

“The companies involved in developing the first two generations of printers eventually faced technical obstacles and were closed down,” Yves Gent said.

“Our small group, which is self-funded, has found that it is very important to develop high-sensitivity, fine-grained photography materials rather than using commercially available solid materials like the previous system.”

The CHIMERA printer uses a commercially available red, green and blue (RGB) continuous wave laser with a cover that regulates exposure for each laser within a few milliseconds.

The team has also developed a special mechanical anti-vibration system to prevent the holographic plate from moving during the shoot.

The hologram is made by recording a small holographic element, called a hogel, in sequence with three spatial light modulators and a specially designed full-color optical print head that allows a 120 degree parallax.

After printing, holograms are developed in chemical containers and sealed for protection.

The size of the pig can be activated between 250 and 500 microns and the printing speed can be adjusted from 1 to 50 Hertz (Hz).

For example, if 250 pig microns are used, the maximum print speed is 50 Hz. At this speed, printing a 30 x 40 cm hologram requires half the time required by the previous pulsed laser system.

“This new system offers a much wider field of view, higher resolution and far better color rendition and dynamic range than the previous system,” Yves Gent said.

“The colorful holographic material we developed offers increased brightness and clarity, while a low-power continuous wave laser makes this system user-friendly.”

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