Let’s face it – holograms are cool!
Even though you saw them in Star Wars over 30 years ago, the simple three-dimensional image of someone popping up out of the ground is really cool and the idea of making homemade holograms is enticing to the hobbyist in all of us.
But, it isn’t as hard as you might think to slap together this laser based craft – in fact, if you take a look at your driver’s license or your latest credit card, there’s probably a hologram right there.
So, how can you make your own hologram of your own? Let’s take a look at the basics.
To get started you are going to need a few items, below is a list of the items you will need to create your holograms.
All That Science
First of all, holograms are created by capturing a laser light setup on special film to produce a three-dimensional image. Why have lasers? Because it is pure and only one color or wavelength for you scientists out there.
To make your homemade holograms, you’ll split your laser light into two different beams, reflect one off of an object to scatter toward the film and have the other beam directly at the film.
When the two lasers meet the film, they will create a pattern of bright and dark lines which is captured by the film as a hologram.
This only creates the holograms though – if you want to see them afterwards, you need to develop the film, place it back into its original position and light it up with a single beam from the laser.
The hologram pattern will then diffract the beam of light and create the 3D image you all know as a hologram.
Tinkering Your Own Holograms
The process is complex and if you want to make a professional hologram, it requires a darkroom, great big equipment and a lot of work, but simple homemade holograms are not quite as hard.
There are hologram kits out there that provide everything you need, or you can find the materials yourself.
Here is a sample listing of a common homemade hologram kit’s materials:
- Laser – Usually runs on simple AA batteries.
- Special Film – The Film is placed on 2×3 glass plates and is specific to hologram making
- Model for the image – often a small toy or metal object is good because it refracts light so well.
- Proper measurements and objects to keep the measurements in place.
Making it All Work
Once you have your materials, you need to measure out the proper distances, place your image model in place and aim the laser at the object.
The laser should be split properly with part of it at the model and part at the film and it takes about 5-10 minutes for the image to be created on the special film.
You don’t need a dark room, you don’t need perfect conditions, and you don’t need to be a scientist. You do however, need to have the right laser and film to pull it off, but with most home made holograms coming in kits that cost about $100-$150 it isn’t that hard to get it up and running.