The Holography Times
Zebra saves time, money & lives with hologram
ebra Imaging, an Austin ﬁrm,has ﬁgured out a high speedprint process that reproduces anyform of 3-D computer data, as animage that can be viewed from anyangle, without distortion. Also, ithas created a printing method thatgenerates images on ﬂat ﬁlm thatappear to be three dimensional,without using special glasses. Thecompany, founded in 1996, initiallydeveloped the technology so theautomobile industry could eliminatethe step of building clay models.At present, Zebra Imaging’s largestcustomer is the U.S. Army, which usesthe technology for geospatial maps,since it gives a better idea of heightsand distances than conventionalmaps. Here, holographic technologiesfor military applications ﬁnd its usein data visualization and table topholographic displays of net-centricbattle space in the form of maps.However, now, Zebra’s new printingmachine has opened up the hologrammarket to many more manufacturersand designers that need to see whattheir computer-drawn products reallylook like.
The company is looking to expand its targetmarket from military to architecture due toseveral factors providing an opportunity.
In addition to improvements in laserimaging technology; architecturaldrawings are now initially producedwith 3-D, computer-aided designsoftware. The shift is enabling ZebraImaging to directly produce theholograms from natively produced 3-D drawings, and skip to convert CADdrawings to 3-D images. The 13-year-old company plans to tap architectsas potential new customers. Zebra’s innovation lies is makinglarge holograms that are accurate fromany angle- the approach is intended toreplace conventional model building.
A holographic model of a buildingby Zebra Imaging Inc. can providea three-dimensional view for muchless money and in much less timethan physical models.
Instead of the weeks it takes to build a physicalmodel, a hologram can be producedin hours. The turnaround productiontime is fast and the model size, color,quality, and potential for animationare user-controlled parameters-givingthe architect more control. The cost of a hologram is comparable to physicalmodels produced of the same size-A single 2 sq. foot monochromaticimage panel typically costs $1,500to $2,000, while color images cost$3,000 to $4,000, whereas physicalmodels typically cost at least $6,000.They are robust, easy to handle,easy to transport and send. Updates& multiple copies can be easilyproduced & sent out to stakeholdersat a single / multiple locations.Holograms can be archived asphysical documentation. Due tothese reasons the company expectsthe technology to be a popular toolamong ﬁrms.