Build Project: 3D Hologram Projector

Want to build something high tech with low tech materials? Looking for a futuristic makerspace project but without the Silicon Valley budget? Then consider building a 3D hologram projector. Truth be told, the hologram projector does not produce a true hologram. And, this hologram projector work best on tablets and smartphones – producing a small 3D projection. Also, the hologram projector will only work using a special type of video, which I link to at the bottom of this post. But, in my experience, every student who sees the 3D projection images are amazed. That’s a very good pay-off!

We found this project on the Makezine website (so we can’t take all the credit for the idea). However, here are our modificatìons


  1. Use the clear, plastic lids on spinach and salad mix containers instead of CD cases. These lids are easier to find since all that needs to be done is a quick rummage through the recycling bin. Also, they are easier to cut.
  2. Do not use transparency paper. We find transparency paper not to be rigid enough. The projectors made using transparency paper don’t stand up well.
  3. Use the trapezoid dimensions from Makezine if the projector is for a smartphone. Double the dimensions if the projector is for an iPad.
  4. Use thin or fine, overhead projector pens to draw the trapezoid patterns. The ink is water soluble and wash out well.
  5. Use utility knives if possible. Scissors are easier to use. But, lines cut using scissors are not as straight, which will pose a problem when taping edges together.

After completing your 3D projector, dim the lights, and play the following video at full screen. Put your projector in the centre of the screen and look at the projector at surface level. Stand back and enjoy! (And prepare to have your mind blown – sweep the brain fragments off the floor later).

3D Hologram Video

NOTE: remember to play at full screen on either your device.


Posted on April 21, 2017 in Projects

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About the Author

Kent is one of the creators of the Rebels Makerspace, a design and science educator, and Science Department head at Burnaby South Secondary.
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