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Proceedings Paper

Advances in lenticular lens arrays for visual display
Author(s): R. Barry Johnson; Gary A. Jacobsen
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Paper Abstract

Lenticular lens arrays are widely used in the printed display industry and in specialized applications of electronic displays. In general, lenticular arrays can create from interlaced printed images such visual effects as 3-D, animation, flips, morph, zoom, or various combinations. The use of these typically cylindrical lens arrays for this purpose began in the late 1920's. The lenses comprise a front surface having a spherical crosssection and a flat rear surface upon where the material to be displayed is proximately located. The principal limitation to the resultant image quality for current technology lenticular lenses is spherical aberration. This limitation causes the lenticular lens arrays to be generally thick (0.5 mm) and not easily wrapped around such items as cans or bottles. The objectives of this research effort were to develop a realistic analytical model, to significantly improve the image quality, to develop the tooling necessary to fabricate lenticular lens array extrusion cylinders, and to develop enhanced fabrication technology for the extrusion cylinder. It was determined that the most viable cross-sectional shape for the lenticular lenses is elliptical. This shape dramatically improves the image quality. The relationship between the lens radius, conic constant, material refractive index, and thickness will be discussed. A significant challenge was to fabricate a diamond-cutting tool having the proper elliptical shape. Both true elliptical and pseudo-elliptical diamond tools were designed and fabricated. The plastic sheets extruded can be quite thin (< 0.25 mm) and, consequently, can be wrapped around cans and the like. Fabrication of the lenticular engraved extrusion cylinder required remarkable development considering the large physical size and weight of the cylinder, and the tight mechanical tolerances associated with the lenticular lens molds cut into the cylinder's surface. The development of the cutting tool and the lenticular engraved extrusion cylinder will be presented in addition to an illustrative comparison of current lenticular technology and the new technology. Three U.S. patents have been issued as a consequence of this research effort.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5874, Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering VI, 587406 (25 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.618082
Show Author Affiliations
R. Barry Johnson, CyberAir Development Corp. (United States)
Gary A. Jacobsen, LentiClear Lenticular Lens, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5874:
Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering VI
Pantazis Z. Mouroulis; Warren J. Smith; R. Barry Johnson, Editor(s)

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