When we think of 3D printers we always think of the devices that are adding layers of plastic to create the programmed form, a process that can last several hours, depending on the complexity of the model.
What they present now at MIT is a completely different approach, a printer that generates a hologram inside a plastic material, it takes laser to perform the work. A few seconds after seeing the hologram inside the plastic material, a figure exactly the same as that of the light figure emerges.
This fact which seems magically has been demonstrated in the video of the MIT article, although at the moment it can only be done with small things, like a clip. The process is extremely exothermic, and doing so with larger parts could generate temperatures so high that they would burn the part, but they believe they can work on that subject to solve the problem.
It is the project of a company called Daqri, who has created a holographic chip that they use for Augmented Reality systems, similar to that of Microsoft’s HoloLens. This chip could also allow for truly different experiences in the world of Augmented Reality, as it would allow the user to enter into three-dimensional scenes and not just view 2D panels with additional information.
The Daqri chip can create holograms without the need for complex optics. They use a silicon wafer with a small grid of tunable crystals to control the magnitude and time delay or phase of the reflected light that shines on the surface of the chip from a laser. The software adjusts the crystals to create interference patterns in the light, resulting in a three-dimensional light field.
There are many applications of chips, but certainly the use of a 3D printer is the most surprising.