Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Lenticular printing lighting the way to worker safety

Millions across Europe are employed in jobs that involve low-visibility environments. European researchers set out to improve the high-visibility clothing that employers are required to provide for this group of workers.
Lenticular printing lighting the way to worker safety
Lenticular printing is a technology that reproduces 3D effects on flat surfaces, resulting in the so-called lenticular effect. Members of the LION-TEX project, funded by the EU, exploited this technology to deliver a breakthrough innovation, effectively recreating this effect on textiles.

Using a cost-effective, efficient and robust novel printing machine — a lenticular automatic plotter simplifies production of lenticular images. Changing colours enhance the properties of safety garments: the human eye responds quicker to a dynamic effect than to a static one. As such, project efforts have enabled the creation of a new generation of safety garments with enhanced high-visibility effects.

The innovative LION-TEX process is carried out in two steps. An interlaced image is generated which is then printed on the textile with an ink-jet printer. In the second step a lenticular layer is created using an ink-jet dispenser machine that can build 3D patterns.

The lenticular plotter demonstrator is not yet ready for commercialisation, but it can produce small samples of lenticular textiles. The first proof of concept of a lenticular textile has been produced. With the entire process synchronised and integrated into one machine, the LION-TEX plotter also boasts savings in raw materials and energy consumption. Promising project results such as these prompted the filing of a second patent to secure the concepts and technologies of the LION-TEX lenticular plotter.

By making it possible to bring the 3D effect of lenticular images onto textiles, the efficiency of high-visibility safety garments and devices is in line for serious improvements. The results of the LION-TEX project thus have the potential to bring numerous safety benefits to workers, and to increase competitiveness for the businesses employing them.

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