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I always assumed that the process of making a hologram was so complex that it was limited to only those with access to expensive lasers and other fancy optical equipment. But when I heard that the Maker Shed started carrying Litiholo’s Hologram Kit, I was surprised that such a thing existed and I was eager to give it a try. After carefully following the directions, my first hologram was visible, but just barely. This was better than I expected, actually. The manual stresses that controlling vibration is the most important factor in creating a good hologram, but I live in a busy Brooklyn apartment building that often feels the low rumble of the subway trains rolling by. I tried to make another, but this time I increased the exposure time from five minutes to fifteen as the instructions suggested. The result was a surprisingly sharp hologram of a toy car.

The science behind the why holograms work and how they’re made is fascinating. In the video above, I explain that the holographic film is sensitive to the interference between the laser beam hitting the plate directly and the beam bouncing off the object. I won’t try to explain it any further, and I’ll leave it up to those who do it best: How Stuff Works has a great write-up of the principles behind these amazing 3D images.

Subscribe to How-Tos with Matt Richardson in iTunes, download the m4v video directly, or watch it on YouTube and Vimeo.

In the Maker Shed:


Litiholo's Hologram Kit


Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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