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Managing Editor  | February 2017

AR startup creating 3-D printer that builds objects with holograms


Daqri, which was founded in 2010, has already made a name for itself with a series of augmented reality (AR) devices, including smart glasses, a smart helmet for industrial workers, and a head-up display for vehicles that has been implemented in Jaguar’s Land Rovers. The company has now announced that it is in development to build a 3-D printer that uses holograms to build objects.

 

daqri_600

Daqri is using holograms to produce 3-D printed objects. (Daqri)

 

Thus far, Daqri has only been able to produce smaller objects, such as a paper clip, according to an article on 3ders.org, but it can produce those objects in as little as five seconds rather than the few minutes it would take with a standard DLP printer.

 

The company has altered the concept of DLP 3-D printing, which uses projected light to cure a light-sensitive monomer into a particular design, by introducing a complex light array (a hologram) that cures an entire object at once instead of a layer at a time.

 

“The amazing monomer-curing holograms are produced by a special chip that can create holograms without the need for complex optics,” the article explained. “Instead, a system of tunable crystals placed upon a silicon wafer controls the form of the reflected light directed at the surface of the chip from a laser. The crystals create patterns of interference in the light in accordance with digital instructions, which results in a 3D light field.”

 

When the light shines into a vat of the light-sensitive material, the object cures at any place the light touches.

 

An article from 3Dprintingindustry.com added, “Making objects in layers is the very core of 3D printing’s success, but it is also a hindrance to the speed of 3D prints. Theoretically, hologram 3D printing would be dramatically faster than the current processes. But in order to make it successful, they’re going to need a lot more lasers.

 

“Ideally a hologram 3D printer would beam the image of an object from lasers on both the x and y axis, potentially making an entire grid of beams. Singular beams would not be powerful enough to cure the resin, but combined they would be enough to 3D print an object.”

 

Heat will be the biggest challenge to developing the printer for use on an industrial scale. The reaction that the lasers induce increases enough heat to melt the objects it is attempting to print.

 

Watch the video below to see the printer in action:


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