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DLideas 7: 3D Display

The DLideas series focuses on current developments in the world of DLP® and emerging applications using the technology.

Many of the most promising 3D display concepts in performance, practicality and cost are based on DLP® technology as digital micromirror devices can both create virtual slices and produce high enough resolution to project a holographic image. Learn about the first two of four major types of 3D display technology as they relate to DLP® Technology – volumetric display and holographic display.

3D display is a display that’s capable of producing true three-dimensional images. The image to be displayed may come from 3D modeling data from CAD software, from medical imaging devices, or computational models of 3D systems. By providing information in a format that’s natural to the human eye, a 3D display allows the viewer to interact and interpret images more intuitively and productively. 3D display using DLP® Technology can be divided into four main approaches: volumetric display, multiview display, holographic display and light field display.

In a volumetric display, the image to be displayed is divided into the slices and the slices are then presented to the viewer in rapid succession so that the viewer perceives a persistent continuous object. The data contained in each slice must be projected onto a screen of some sort, whether physical or virtual, that either translates or rotates from slice to slice. DLP® systems are utilized both for projecting the slice information and creating virtual scenes onto which the slice information is projected.

Holographic display requires the computation and writing of a holographic pattern and the display medium that, when illuminated, would produce a full 3D image to the viewer. Of note, advanced DMDs are composed of micromirrors with dimensions of about 5 micron. Compiling properly designed projection optics to the DMD can produce a pattern of illumination with the required resolution needed for holographic display.

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