A novel printer was recently developed to produce digital 3D holograms with realistic color. The printer could hold valuable applications in the recreations of objects for museum displays printer or fine arts.
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"Our 15-year research project aimed to build a hologram printer with all the advantages of previous technologies while eliminating known drawbacks such as expensive lasers, slow printing speed, limited field of view and unsaturated colors," said research team leader Yves Gentet from Ultimate Holography in France. "We accomplished this by creating the CHIMERA printer, which uses low-cost commercial lasers and high-speed printing to produce holograms with high-quality color that spans a large dynamic range."
Optical Society Caption: Researchers developed a new system that prints holograms such as the one shown with an unprecedented level of detail and realistic color. Image Credit: C Yves GENTET
Findings were published in The Optical Society (OSA) journal Applied Optics which describes how full parallax holograms can reconstruct an object that it is viewable in all directions with a field spanning 120 degrees. The printer can produce holograms from 3D computer generated models or from scans. Additionally, high-quality holograms can be used as masters to produce holographic copies.
"The companies involved in developing the first two generations of printers eventually faced technical limitations and closed," said Gentet. "Our small, self-funded group found that it was key to develop a highly sensitive photomaterial with a very fine grain rather than use a commercially available rigid material like previous systems."
The hologram printer was developed from two previously studied holographic printer technologies that allowed researchers to study their advantages and drawbacks.
"The new system offers a much wider field of view, higher resolution and noticeably better color rendition and dynamic range than previous systems," said Gentet. "The full-color holographic material we developed provides improved brightness and clarity while the low-power, continuous wave lasers make the system easy to use."
Source: The Optical Society