How to Make a Smartphone Projector Without Magnifying Glass?

There’s absolutely nothing more rewarding than a DIY project that doesn’t require anything outside the comfort of your own home. One of these projects can very well be a smartphone projector. So that you can enjoy those cozy winter nights, snuggled up watching whatever you want to watch, while not being confined by what’s on TV or the limited screen of your laptop.

Although there are many variations of this specific project, we are trying to go with the most minimalistic version. Requiring the least amount of materials needed and the least effort possible; it will take you like 20 minutes max to finish the whole procedure and voila! You have your very own, low-budget, home theater.

Normal Projector:

how to make a smartphone projector without a magnifying glass

Now the most common thing to do when trying to fashion a homemade projector is to use a magnifying glass, and the Internet is chock-full of how to do that. What we want to do is to eliminate the magnifying glass as our goal here is to limit this project to things that each and every home must-have.

So, what we’re doing here is that where we’re going to replace the magnifying glass with a light bulb. Your list of materials will include:

  • A shoebox with the lid 
  • A lightbulb 
  • A marker 
  • Scissors 
  • Double-sided tape
  • A piece of cardboard/Two bottle caps
  • Pliers
  • A Glue-gun
  • Water
  • A bottlecap
  1. Trace the lightbulb on the metal side of the shoebox and cut along the line you traced so that when you insert the lightbulb in this place, it will fit snugly.
  2. Take the lightbulb and extract everything that’s inside using pliers. You only want metal pieces at the top and the glass.
  3. Glue the lightbulb, tape it, or fix it in any possible way in its designated place. 
  4. Cut at the corresponding side of the lid so that when you close the box, the lamp will fit as snuggly in the lid as it does in the box. 
  5. Cut the piece of cardboard so that it fits compactly inside the box facing the lightbulb.
  6. Place your phone in the middle of the card box and trace it.
  7. Add two pieces of double-sided tape at two parallel lines inside the tracing of your phone. They will act as loops to hold your smartphone.
  8. Another method to hold your smartphone is to glue two bottle caps to the bottom of the shoebox using a glue-gun.
  9. Cut rectangular holes that will fit your smartphone across each cap. 
  10. But, to do that, you have to, at first, adjust the focus by moving the phone back and forth until you know the perfect place for it before fixating the bottle caps permanently. Or, you can just go with the cardboard piece, which will allow you to move the focus however needed all the time.
  11. Fill the lightbulb with water.
  12. Close the lightbulb using the third bottle cap. 
  13. Fix your phone in place. 
  14. Add the lid, manage your focus and direct the lamp to a blank wall. 

Two last tips are to have your phone its highest brightness and you to disable the auto-lock mechanism on your phone. As you have to place your phone flipped 180° in order for the image to be right.

3D Projector:

This specific project is nothing complicated, nothing too hard, even, the materials are not in any way dangerous. You could even appoint this is an activity for your children if needed. Making a 3-D projector or giving the hologram effect is a simple-enough project, all you need for it will be:

  • Three CD cases
  • Your smartphone
  • Glue
  1. Place the first CD case in its closed form at the very bottom, on your desk to serve as the base, nothing too fancy.
  2. Next, you will stack the next CD case on top of it in its opened form at a 45°.
  3. Place your smartphone at the very end of the CD case so that your smartphone is lying on the black part of the CD case and image is reflected on the clear, plastic part. That will give you the hologram effect.
  4. However, to emphasize that what we do is that we bring the third CD case and open it at 90°.
  5. Fix the edge of the clear part of the third case to the edge of the clear part of the second case so that they are perpendicular to each other.
  6. And, as the third case is opened at 90°, it will stand on its own on your desk.
  7. This will enhance the hologram effect as the standing part of the third case is in black color, this will give a great contrast to the image that’s reflected on the clear plastic of the second case. The black background will emphasize the image reflected.
  8. An essential tip is to keep your case is very clean; wipe them, make sure that there are no fingerprints on them because all of that will mess with the image.
  9. Now the last thing is that image needs sound, so one thing you can do in order not to ruin the configuration of your makeshift 3d projector is to connect your phone to a Bluetooth speaker. Place it in front of the phone so that when you sit in front of your device, you really can’t see all the hustle off the phone and the cases. All that you can see is the clear plastic with a hologram picture on it.

Final Thoughts

DIY projects are always fun and they’re even more fun when they actually work. They are a great way to spend your time doing something creative and productive. Creating is never a waste of time.

Making a 3-D project can be a lifesaver on rainy days when the lights are out or if you’re stranded in some sort of a motel on the road while you’re traveling. Surely, you’ll have all these materials with you, so why not? You will not regret it, and you can just pack it up and take it with you wherever you go.

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