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New Lens Technology Cuts Costs, Boost Animation

New Lens Technology Cuts Costs, Boost Animation

Golden Mousetrap 2009 WinnerA new lenticular lens technology patented by National Graphics of Brookfield, WI reduces materials costs by 40 percent, improves resolution, and enables very fine print and barcodes to be legible under the lens. The surface of the lens can accept ink jet printing for additional printing. The flexibility and thinness of the material permit use of plastic processes such as in-mold decorating. A cup submitted to Design News' judges shows an animation of a boy kicking and then chasing a soccer ball. The technology also permits use of flashing arrows or changing colors to point out a hazard on a safety sign. The high-definition offers superior quality of detail. When used as part of an in-mold system, the material is only 0.007-inch thick, reducing materials costs. Materials typically used in the system, as cited in the patent, are one or more of: polyester, polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and amorphous polyethylene terephthalate (APET). "National can place almost twice the amount of information under this lens than others outside of the patent boundaries resulting in a photographic like presentation of animated information," says Donald Krause, president of National graphics.

Lenticular technology was created in the 1940s but has evolved to show more motion and increased depth. Lenses are a transparent plastic sheet or web, typically including an array of identical curved or ribbed surfaces that are formed on the front surface. The back surface of the lens is typically flat.

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