Holographic 3-D Printer

1. Introduction

Thanks to the recent progress and the spread of multimedia information technology, 3-D imaging systems are currently used in many fields, and the output devices for 3-D images are demanded. As the output for 3-D imaging systems, both softcopy and hardcopy are required, and 3-D representation is especially important in the hardcopy, because the image cannot be interactively manipulated. Holography is one of the promising technology for the device like a 3-D image printer, but several requirements cannot be satisfied by the current technology of holography, as follows;

1) Holograms should be printed by desktop device, that is, large optical bench cannot be used for the printing device.

2) Distortion-free image should be displayed.

3) The hardcopy must be automatically printed from the 3-D data in computer.

As the technology of holographic stereogram is suitable for the 3-D display of computer processed data, a new method of holographic stereogram, called 'multidot' recording method, is developed for automatic printing of distortion-free 3-D images. By the multidot method, full-parallax (i.e. both horizontal and vertical parallaxes) information can be printed by the stable optical system, which is applicable to the desktop printer device. We have developed a prototype of holographic 3-D printer (holoprinter), which automatically produce 3-D holographic images, based on the multidot method. Fig.1 shows the concept of holoprinter.

Concept of Holoprinter

Figure 1. The concept of holoprinter

The reconstructed image of the printed hologram is shown in fig.2.

Reconstructed Image

Figure 2. Reconstructed Image

If you have comments or suggestions, email me at guchi@isl.titech.ac.jp

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