June - July, 2011
characteristics commonly known as Lenticular.The lenticular lenses are made from special piecesof transparent plastic sheets with numerous lines onone side of the surface is as shown in Figure 1.The lenticular lenses are defined by their number of the lenses per linear inch on the lenticular sheetfor example 60 lenses per inch (LPI) means 60lines per inch or 60 lens per inch i.e. one inchof lenticular sheet will have 60 lines (lens) on it.Lenticular sheets are available from 10 to 200 LPIfor various commercial applications.Commercial quality optical lenticular sheets aregenerally produced by extrusion of optical qualitypolymer such as APET, PETG, PMMA, PS,PC or PVC onto cylindrical engraved mandrel.This technique is very popular due to its costefficient and large volume production. Lenticular material can be provided as individual cut sheetor in web rolls of defined width. Lenticular sheetsmade from PET are becoming very popular incommercial printing applications.
Lenticular printing or 3D stereoscopic printing is atechnology which uses a lenticular plastic to produceimages with an illusion of depth or the images havethe ability to change or move as the image is viewedfrom varied angles. 3D Lenticular Printing can becarried out by two different methods. One is calleddirect lenticular printing; in this case the image isprinted on the plain side of the lenticular sheets whose thickness must be less than 1mm, which issuitable for big batch manufacture. The other oneis called lenticular lamination, where the image isprinted on the paper at first, and then the paper islaminated on the plain side of the lenticular sheetsor boards, which is suitable for smaller run.
Interlacing is the key to the lenticular printing technology. Interlacing is a process of stripping a sequence of images for creating the effects. For
The quality of the lenticular sheetis dependent onthe clarity of thesheet which in turndepends on thetype of materialused for makingthe sheets andalso the processcontrols.
example, for a flip effect of 2 images, the first bandis a strip from image 1, the second from image 2,and the third from image 1 and so on. It is mostlya mathematical formula that slices images to theright width and arranges them accordingly. Thesoftware then saves the interlaced image in a file which is ready for printing. An image print isproduced whose characteristics represent a mapof the interlaced images and which includes oneor more desired visual effects.The interlaced image is printed directly on theback of the lenticular piece of plastic or it isprinted on paper which is then laminated withlenticular plastic sheet. The lenticular lens isolatesand amplifies the interlaced image underneath itin such a way that only one original image at atime is seen by the viewer. The image changes with the change in the angle of observation. Whenthe lenses are placed vertically, each eye sees adifferent image and thus creates an illusion of a3D image. Lenticular images are very attractiveand 3D effects can be produced with amazing effects.
Applications of Lenticular Printing
Lenticular printing is finding innovative andattractive applications in various fields such asadvertising and packaging. Few applications of lenticular printing are listed below:
Scratch- off cards
Video / CD covers
Adhesive layer TProtective film
Lenticular lens sheet.
Figure 2: Interlaced image.