Engraved panel can convert sunlight into images

25th March 2011 - Fine Cut

A panel which can covert sunlight into a complex photographic image on the wall has been manufactured by researchers in Zurich, reports thestar.com

Researchers in Zurich created the panel by reshaping the surface of a transparent sheet using precision engraving.

The process of completing of manufacturing the panels are extremely complex and each 10 centimetre slab currently takes around three days to complete.  

Images are created by engraving over 1,000 tiny curved patches onto each slab. These patches act like lenses by reshaping sunlight into fuzzy elliptical patches that together make up the image.     

Each curved patch has to be painstakingly carved out by a computer-controlled mill, and producing a single slab can take up to three days.

Computer Graphics Expert Tim Weyrich employed the help a team of researchers from Disney Research in Switzerland in order to create the Plexiglass slabs.

New Scientist suggests that although the invention is unlikely to replace standard projectors for producing an image, it could easily as a security feature similar to holograms used on credit cards.

It was also suggested that car manufacturers could use the technology to produce custom headlights which decrease the risk of driver glare.

Computer Graphics Researcher Gustavo Patow was impressed at the amount of skill required to produce the sheets.

"Being able to control it so finely is amazing," he said.

Categories: Articles
back to Insights