Texas Instruments Inc. has created the DLP LightCrafter 4500 development tool to help engineers use digital light processing based on its micromirror chips for applications beyond projectors. The subsystem is an upgrade to previously supplied DLP development tools that provides a starting point for higher brightness and higher resolution applications in indusrial, medial and scientific applications, the company said.
Micromirror array devices are based on micron-dimension mirrors that are moved by applying a voltage. They were originally developed by Texas Instruments (Dallas, Texas) for use in cinema and other projection systems in the 1990s. They are now being applied to portable and stationary 3-D measurement tools for machine vision, 3-D printing and quality control scenarios, medical imaging devices for dental and retinal scanning, spectrometers, augmented reality devices, and more.
The LightCrafter 4500 development system is based on the DLP4500 chip, a 150-lumen light source and the DLP350 digital controller. Designs based on the DLP4500 can be pushed up to 500 lumens, the company said. DLP4500 chip has 912 by 1140 micromirrors on a 7.6-micron pitch with an array diagonal size of 0.45-inches. It is offered with an operating temperature range of 0 to 70 degrees C.
DLPC350 digital controller provides a mapping of the input data to the micromirrors at frame rates of up to 120-Hz with 24-, 27-, and 30-bit RGB patterns, while a video projection mode offers programmable color adjustment, color space conversion, and digamma. Additionally, the DLPC350 can produce two input/output trigger signals for synchronization of multiple cameras, sensors, and other peripherals, as well as enable interactive display capabilities with moving objects.
The palm-sized DLP4500 micromirror develeopment system with integrated optics. Source: Texas Instruments.
A connectivity suite covering mini-HDMI, USB, I2C and 24-bit RGB FPD-link ports is offered. The development systems can be connected to a PC where a Linux-based GUI provides users with the means to adjust settings. DLP LightCrafter 4500 will be available for purchase in summer with a suggested retail prices of $1299, TI said.
"Our team has performed extensive work around lithography-based 3-D printing, and other projects, using a number of Texas Instruments DLP's development products," said Professor Jurgen Stampfl of Vienna University of Technology, in a statement issued by Texas Instruments. "The high quality and performance of DLP technology has allowed us to move us forward from simply researching 3D printing to actually starting our own 3-D printer business, and we eagerly await DLP's newest offering and its potential for our needs."
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