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Lenticular Images (1960s)

European Plastics News staff
Posted 12 August 2009
A footballer kicking a ball; a face morphing between two expressions. These and thousands of other ‘moving’ pictures have been brought to life by lenticular plastic – which causes an image to shift when it is tilted.

Lenticular images – first produced in the US in the early 1960s – are based on a simple idea although their manufacture has, until recently, been quite complicated. The key to the effect is the optical grade plastic lens – most often polyester – that sites on top of the image. The surface is embossed with a series of tiny columns – or ‘lenticules’ – that allow each image to be seen from just one angle.

Each image is separated into small strips; each strip fits under a single lenticule. Two or interlaced images can then be made to morph, flip or move by correct design and positioning of the images and lenticules.

In the past, it was necessary to print the image on paper then laminate it to the plastic sheet. Images can now be printed directly on the reverse of the sheet.



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