About Us

Our History

3DTL was founded in 1996 by Dr. Elizabeth Downing to develop and commercialize volumetric three dimensional (3D) displays for medical, industrial, and military applications.  From 1996 until 2002, Dr. Downing raised over $7 million in US government research funding for 3DTL and successfully developed full color prototype 3D displays that were demonstrated to the United States Congress.  Dr. Downing has received numerous awards for her work including two Technology Of The Year awards by Discover Magazine and Industry Week Magazine.  Her work has been written up in the following publications:

  • E. A. Downing, L. Hesselink, R. M. Macfarlane, Proc. IEEE Nonlinear Optics: Materials, Fundamentals, and Applications (Optical Society of America, Washington, DC, 1994), p. 409.
  • E. A. Downing, L. Hesselink, R. M. Macfarlane, International Display Research Conference (1994), p. 321.
  • E. A. Downing, L. Hesselink, R. M. Macfarlane, N. F. Borrelli, R. Bartholomew, M. Newhouse, Proc. IEEE Nonlinear Optics: Materials, Fundamentals, and Applications (Optical Society of America, Washington, DC, 1996), p. 394.
  • A. Akella, E. A. Downing, L. Hesselink, Non-Oxide Glasses International Symposium (1996), p. 24.
  • Science, August 30, 1996 (pages 1172, 1185-1189)
  • The San Francisco Chronicle, August 30, 1996 (page A21)
  • The Economist, September 6, 1996 (page 67)
  • Scientific American, November 1996 (page 16, in French)
  • Discover, December 1996 (page 44)
  • Industry Week, December 16, 1996 (pages 42, 43)

In 2002, the company decided to retarget it's core technology, high efficiency infrared phosphors, toward the security market.  Within one year, 3DTL had secured its first strategic commercialization partnership and began production and shipment of four new security products.  These products can be found today in millions of name brand consumer products worldwide.  Over the last six years the company has continued to add commercialzation partners and has secured multiple strategic R&D engagements with some of the largest and most innovative organizations in the banknote industry.

Our CEO & Founder

The driving force behind 3DTL has been and continues to be our President & CEO, Dr. Elizabeth Downing.  After inventing the volumetric 3D display in the late 90's she has gone on to invent the platform technologies that are the basis of our next generation security features: the pigment protection system and our variable refractive index materials.  Dr. Downing has over a dozen granted patents and patents pending.

How We Go To Market

3DTL believes in strictly controlled deployment of our products and therefore our technology / intellectual property.  This protects and ensures the security value of our products for us and our downstream customers.  We implement this controlled deployment by careful qualification and
selection of potential commercialization partners who must sell our products in value added form.  Our comprehensive Materials Evaluation and Supply Agreements ensure chain-of-custody and set strict limits on what can and cannot be done with our products and the technology they contain.  Our strong intellectual property position and trade secrets ensures further protection for us and our customers.

Why We Are Unique

What makes 3DTL unique in the security industry?  It is our people, our approach, our technologies, our practical knowledge, and our relationships...

  • Our People - It is the ability of Dr. Downing and her team to continuously innovate through invention, persistence, and by leveraging proven technology from other industries that sets 3DTL apart from most other companies in this industry.
  • Our Approach - We have taken a fundamentally new approach to what is in many ways an old industry.  We make high end, high tech into low cost yet high security small particle optical pigments.
  • Our Technologies - Many of our products are based on technology that is not available anywhere else in the world. Our other products offer higher security and higher performance than similar products available from other companies.
  • Our Practical Knowledge - Innovation is great but making technology work in the real world is what ultimately counts.  Our scientists and engineers have developed extensive knowledge about what it takes to successfully integrate our products into inks, varnishes, coatings, substrates and fibers.  Since we entered the security industry over seven years ago, we have yet to encounter an application problem that we could not solve.
  • Our Relationships - At the end of the day, it has been our customer relationships and industry credibility that have led to our continued success.  Built over years, these strong relationships have resulted from open & honest communication and from producing results that consistently exceed customer expectations.



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