Based in Los Angeles, California, Daqri is an augmented reality startup that created an innovative, new 3D printer model powered by a holographic chip. The 3D printer can print solid objects faster than its conventional counterparts, with a technique that uses a laser to craft a light-activated monomer into a solid plastic object. Daqri’s 3D printer scans the entire object that it wants to replicate all at once, using constant coherent radiation or hologram to create the perfect shape.
The duration of scanning the desired object is simple, rapid, and takes precise measurements to make sure the dimensions of the replicated object being printed are fully equivalent to the object that was originally scanned. After the object is scanned, the formation process begins by shining a laser onto a petri dish that’s filled with the goo material on the printer’s bed. A transparent but distinct image of the object that was scanned from the goo emerges, after which it cools, solidifies, and is ready to use in seconds.
This revolutionary 3D printing process is made possible by the holographic chip developed by Daqri. The chip helps the 3D printer create precise replicas of any objects that are scanned by its ability to create holograms of the selected object. The chip doesn’t utilize any complicated optical capabilities, and uses a tiny grid of adjustable crystals to control measurements like time delays, phases, and magnitudes of reflected light shined by the laser. Using light-activated monomers from the chip, the crystals used in the printing process use software within the 3D printer when forming the dimensions and surfaces of the objects they’re printing by creating patterns of interference in light forming the object’s 3D parameters. Unlike typical 3D printers, Daqri’s doesn’t use the technique of printing layer-by-layer. As a result, the object being printed doesn’t suffer from any strains or heaps from the back-and-forth motion used in normal 3D printers.
Right now, Daqri’s 3D printer is only capable of printing small objects like paperclips, but can complete this task in seconds whereas the same process would take several minutes for conventional 3D printers. Daqri is attempting to improve on this by increasing depth with the size of the holographic chip, which can print objects by containing information on multiple planes. Though innovative, Daqri’s 3D printer is in its infancy, and still has a lot of kinks to sort out, like the exothermic nature of the printing process, which could cause certain parts of the object being printed to become affected by disfigurements or other physical contortions. Daqri is currently researching ways to perfect their 3D printer’s new hologram chip, along with giving it the ability to scan and print any solid object, which they could complete within the next few years.
Filed Under: 3D printing • additive manufacturing • stereolithography, M2M (machine to machine)