FAQ - Hologram Kits

Our hologram kits provide all the essentials you need to make holograms at home or school. Specially designed for making holograms the tried and true way (with holographic film plates and developer), the kits allow for maximum freedom to experiment in making many kinds of holograms, without sacrificing ease of use and affordability.

Can I use the hologram kits at home or school?

Yes, most definitely.

In schools, it is not uncommon to have 10 to 20 students each make their own hologram within a one-hour classroom session, using only one Standard HOLOKIT. Our hologram kits include PFG-03M holographic plates and JD-4 developer, which is specially formulated to significantly cut down exposure, developing, and drying time. Exposure time is as short as 5 seconds and total processing and drying time is less than 5 minutes.

Each year we have teachers using the materials in our hologram kits to teach well over a thousand students from junior high schools to universities in over 50 countries. Due to the ease-of-use of these hologram kits, Dr. Tung Jeong, our founder and technical advisor, prefers using the Standard HOLOKIT when he lectures, teaches workshops, or makes holograms before a live audience. Integraf provides free technical and curriculum advice to all teachers, and can custom design a package appropriate for your class and budget.

At home, a number of our hologram kit users are secondary or high school students making holograms as a hobby or for a school project. Each year, we proudly enjoy a strong share of students who end up winning their science fair contest regionally and even state-wide. Many have written to share their success with us. The hologram kits are reasonably safe in homes when handled and stored responsibly under adult supervision. The holography laser in the kit has an output no more than that of common laser pointers or grocery check-out scanners. The holography developer and bleach chemicals in their original form requires attention by a responsible adult. However, once mixed with water to create the solutions, their diluted forms are more inert than many common household cleaners. Notwithstanding, as with using household cleaners, one should always handle and store chemicals with respect.

What kinds of holograms can I make with the hologram kit?

With your hologram kit, you have the essentials to make many kinds of holograms:

  • Reflection holograms viewable by white-light or laser light
  • Deep scene transmission holograms that is projectable onto a screen
  • Multi-image holograms whereby the viewer can see a different subject by viewing the hologram from a different angle
  • Inteferometry recordings (that can show, for example, how much a mushroom grows in 10 seconds)
  • H1/H2 holograms (that is, a hologram of a hologram so the image sticks out toward the viewer)
  • Diffraction gratings (with the use of front surface mirror which can be purchased inexpensively)

What you cannot make with the hologram kit are portraits of animate subjects. Hologram portraits of human or other animate objects require a laser hundreds of times more powerful than the laser in the kit, a more substantial holography lab (costing tens of thousands of dollars), and significant expertise.

Also know that no hologram kit on the market today is well suited for making holographic IDs or holographic stickers, since these require specialized equipment and manufacturing processes. Your best bet for mass produced holograms of this sort is to outsource to a hologram label service provider like Integraf. We can provide you an extremely attractive quote that includes everything from design to delivery. Contact us to learn more.

Do the hologram kits include everything I need to make holograms?

Each hologram kit provides the essentials needed to make holograms, namely: the holography laser, professional-grade holographic plates or film, convenient developer kit, detailed step-by-step instructions, explanations, and accessories. There is a very small handful of common household items that you will need to gather from your home or any local grocery store. This includes batteries, distilled drinking water, a cup, etc. Our philosophy is to provide you the top-notch essentials capable of making clear 3-D images, detailed instructions, and expert technical support at an affordable price, rather than adding common household items or superfluous custom-made accessories that end up marking up your price and shipping costs.

Do I need special lab equipment or darkroom lighting to make holograms?

No. Making holograms with our hologram kits does not require any special laboratory equipment such as optical lenses, mirrors, darkroom safelights, or vibration-dampening tables, etc. All you need is a stable classroom table or a kitchen counter in general. We do suggest, however, using a computer mouse pad or a small tray of sand (or salt) as protection against vibration "just in case".

You do not need a darkroom or special darkroom lighting to make holograms, since holographic film and plates are hundreds of times less sensitive to light than ordinary photographic film. All you need to do is crack open the door a little bit to let some light in so you can see, or to place a standard nightlight under a table. A blue or green LED flashlight will also work. The lab space (or kitchen or bathroom counter area, if making holograms at home) can be bright enough that you can read the headline of your newspaper, but should remain dark enough that you cannot read the article itself.

Making holograms nowadays has become a lot easier to do compared to doing it a decade ago. New materials such those in your hologram kit--the holography diode laser, holographic plates, convenient and fast-developing chemical kits (just add water and develop for 5 minutes)--have made holography accessible to schools and home through a simple 12-step process.

How easy it is to make holograms with the hologram kit?

One should responsibly caveat that "ease" in holography or any endeavor for that matter always depends on the user and the level of results you wish to obtain. That said, our hologram kits are based on the the idea of simplicity (see "Simple Holography"). For more than a decade, teachers, students, and hobbyists from over 50 countries have used our kits to make holograms in the classroom or at home.

Making a hologram is as easy as following twelve basic steps detailed in our step-by-step instructions. The process basically involves preparing the subject of your hologram a foot away from your laser, exposing the object and holographic plate or film sheet to the laser for 10 seconds, and then developing the hologram for about 3 minutes with the convenient processing kit (just add water).

Many hologram kit users succeed in making a hologram within the first hour, while some take several attempts. At your service, we offer free world-class technical support only a phone call or email away. Our mission is to help you and your students make holograms, and we genuinely stand by that.

How good can holograms I make look?

Naturally, it really depends a lot on the individual. Let's put it this way, the professional-grade holographic plates and film and the developer included in your kits are the same ones that many top holographic artists and professionals use. Holograms you see in museums are often made with this very same recording material, which can produce brilliant, clear, deep 3-D images. The drawback is that the laser in your hologram kit is limited to under 5mW for safety reasons, unlike the multi-thousand dollar, super-powered ones used by professionals. Albeit it'll be tough to match the quality of professionals, holograms made with your kit can still be bright, clear, and deep when viewed by laser or white light.

How do I choose among the three HOLOKITS-- Standard, Student, and Budget?

If it is your or your students' first time making a holograms, we recommend you use the hologram kits that include the holographic glass plates (Standard Holokit and Student Holokit) instead of the film sheets (Budget Holokit). Most first-time holographers find it easier to succeed using holographic glass plates than film sheets since they encounter less complexity and vibration issues. If you've successfully made holograms before, the Budget HOLOKIT could fit you needs. It will save you some money and allow you to cut your holograms to size easily with a pair of scissors.

Do any of the hologram kits include "instant hologram" film?

Not yet, and here's why. At present, "instant hologram" films, have a significantly high chance of failure. Images often come out completely blank, dim, or hazy at best (only about 1 in 10 works out). This is due to the well-accepted fact that "instant hologram" films, like other holographic photopolymers already in the market, require at least 100 times more exposure time than that required by traditional professional holographic plates (several minutes instead of just a few seconds) in order to achieve comparable brightness and clarity. This extended exposure time in effect increases your chance by 100+ times that microscopic movements (or vibration of even one millionth of a meter) will occur during exposure, which ruins your hologram. Using "instant hologram" film for teaching a classroom of students or for lecture demonstrations will lead to disappointment.

Of additional practical consideration, current "instant hologram" films, if and when successful, generally require viewing the hologram with laser light at a very specific angle. Use of this film for white light reflection holograms has not been sufficiently tested by the market. Making other kinds of holograms, such as multi-image, copies, or interferometry is extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible. All of this unfortunately limits its practical use for science fair projects, classroom instruction, learning, and overall enjoyment.

Photopolymers have been around holography for over 20 years since its introduction by DuPont. "Instant hologram" film as touted by marketers (not affiliated with DuPont) is simply a lower-grade extension of photopolymer aimed at the consumer market. Understanding its current shortcomings, we will continue to test current and new samples from manufacturers here and abroad, and encourage further development. This will eventually bring holographic photopolymers to consumers so that the beauty and joy of holography can become even more accessible to everyone.