Micro Lens Technology, was incorporated in North
Carolina on January 14, 1997 by Ken Conley. The company’s goal and
charter was to design and engrave optical patterns into cylinders that could
be used to produce lenticular plastic sheets. These sheets would be
reverse printed on an ordinary printing press without any change to the
The Micro Lens story actually had its beginnings
in the mid seventies when Conley, a research engineer at the Rexham
Corporation, was assigned the project of developing and mass producing photo
emulsion coated lenticular sheets for the amateur 3D photographs of that
time. It was at this time that Conley perfected the art of engraving
exacting patterns into large cylinders. This made use of an
understanding of optics, metallurgy, tooling and equipment.
The first Lenticular plastic for the amateur
market was produced by casting and emulsion coated by 3M in Italy.
Later lenticular sheets were emulsion coated by Kodak. By then, the
Lenticular plastic was produced by extrusion, a more economical and volume
Through the early and mid 1990’s, Conley
perfected Lenticular designs that could be reverse printed on an ordinary
printing press without any changes to the printing press. The first
large order was in January/February of 1997 for a printing company in
About this time, Conley was engraving patterns
into cylinders for Kodak’s 3D photographic imaging market
With the official formation of the company,
cylinders were engraved for an ever increasing number of companies.
Soon these engraved cylinders were shipped to companies throughout the
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Research and Development efforts brought about
better optics in lens designs and improved engraving techniques. In
early 1998, lens patterns and sheet were developed which a printed image
from an ink jet printer could be laminated to the Lenticular sheet to give
3D and motion images. One image of a kind could be produced if desired
versus the thousands of a kind a printing press required. By 1999,
wide format ink jet printers had risen to 300 dpi resolution.
Not being able to sell
these engraved cylinders for producing Lenticular sheet for wide format
images due to the fact that customers at that time would only purchase one
to a few Lenticular sheets at a time and not the skids of product which fed
a printing press, Micro Lens Technology entered a new secondary business.
This was the stocking of wide format Lenticular sheets. These sheets
started with one basic pattern and soon became many more all offered in a
number of standard sizes and with or without adhesive. These
Lenticular sheets were specifically designed for the wide format market.
They were all of coarser patterns and too thick to go through a printing
Micro Lens Technology has
never sold software, but through an alliance with Kutuzov Corporation a
basic program was given away with the first purchase of Lenticular sheet.
Advice and consultation on interlacing images for printing has also been
offered with the sale of sheet at no charge.
Through the years, major
expenditures were made in purchasing engraving equipment, facilities and
land. Qualified people were added for each of the areas served.
The company has been noted
for its development activities which have brought the companies products to
a notably high quality level. Research projects underway offer a
glimpse into the future of images of all types that display depth and other
special effects. Micro Lens Technology has also offered R & D for
Micro Lens Technology in
the first years did not apply for patents on its processes. Patents
covering some of the developments at Micro Lens Technology are starting to
be published. The intent of these patents is not to exclude anyone
from any aspect of the industry. For the most part, patents issued to
Micro Lens Technology are available royalty free to any Micro Lens customer.
The growth rate of Micro
Lens Technology has been phenomenal for any new company. Our sales
have maintained a high percentage growth over the previous years and even
doubled for the first 3 or 4 years. In the first 9 years of existence,
we moved 4 times, each to larger facilities. Micro Lens Technology
does not have a sales force.
The philosophy at Micro
Lens Technology is on time service of top quality products at fair prices
which allow Micro Lens customers to earn a just return on converting the
Micro Lens products to service their markets.
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