Hacking an Old Laptop Into a 3D Projector: Ten Steps (with Pictures)

Hacking an Old Laptop Into a 3D Projector: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

Introduction: Hacking an Old Laptop Into a 3D Projector

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If you have an old laptop lounging around, and are looking for a DIY escapade, this might be the place for you. I’m going to describe how you can go about building your very own 3D projector !

It’s not for the faint of heart, and I can’t possibly get into every bit of detail, but I’ll attempt to verbinding all the resources you will need.

For a summarized version, make sure to check out the corresponding postbode on my webstek.

There are already a few instructables (here, here, and here) based on thesis designs, and other outward resources (here, here and here), so I’m not going to spend too much time on the technical aspects of building a regular 2D DIY projector. Some companies are even selling kits based on those ideas.

A DIY projector is a challenge te itself, but if you’re indeed motivated, you can go one step beyond, and make it 3D !

Step 1: The Trick

The trick is to consider the two halves of your LCD screen spil two separate screens, that you need to project using separate optics. Te my case, I determined to rotate my 15.Four” LCD screen so that the height is the longest dimension, and consider the top and bottom halves spil separate screens.

I have a little script on my webstek (it needs the Wiskunde plugin, sorry), which permits you to play with different parameters and see how it switches the dimensions of the opbergruimte and the relative positions of the optics.

Step Two: Material Needed

  • Your old laptop, with a gepast quality (color!) LCD screen, its power supply
  • Wood panels (plywood, MDF)
  • Lantaarn and its power supply (metal halide, LED, your call) : good color and force are the main requirements
  • Fresnel lenses, one on the lantaarn side, two on the projection side : make sure to get them te the right size and with the right focal length
  • Two triplet (projection) lenses : get the right focal length depending on you projection throw and pic size
  • Reflector and condenser objectief : to increase the light energy and homogeneity
  • Lexan sheet to protect the optics from the warmth of the lantaarn
  • Cables, switches, connectors
  • Two or more laptop ventilatoren and a matching power supply
  • Filters : half wave plates and linear polarizing films
  • Aluminum and wood scraps, fasteners for mounting the different elements
  • Wood finish (oil, varnish. )
  • A projection screen compatible with passive 3D (like a Dalite Silver Matte)

Step Trio: Building the Opbergruimte, Mounting the Lenses

After selecting your optics (fresnel lenses, triplets), based on the size of your LCD screen, your projection length and screen size, you should have a good idea of the dimensions of your opbergruimte. I built mine ter 1/Two” plywood for the side panels, and Trio/Four” MDF for the vooraanzicht and back.

The fresnels vereiste be cut according to your calculation te step 1. Since they’re made of plastic, anything will work, indeed. Just be sure to protect the part of the lenses that you will actually use, since scrapes and defects might eventually be visible on the projected photo. I cut mine at the same width of the opbergruimte, to be able to just slide them te with zindelijk guides made of wood scraps.

Step Four: LCD Disrobing & Mounting

Take the LCD screen out of the laptop. Very cautiously, stripverhaal the LCD screen so that you are left with only the PCB and the LCD sandwich itself. Check this Lifehacker listig, or this engadget listig for more information on how to strook a LCD screen.

Step Five: Fabricating the Lightbox

The lightbox is one of the crucial elements of any DIY projector. Once again the resources I mentioned on 2D projectors will help you vormgeving it based on the type of lantaarn, the reflector and the condenser objectief you have.

Cooling is a crucial part of any DIY projector using anything else than an LED lantaarn.

Step 6: Testing the Projection

Once the lantaarn, lenses, LCD and laptop are te place, it’s time to test the projection.

You can begin by making a static test photo to be displayed fullscreen on your LCD. I made one with a few rectangles and a letterteken A or B te the center, to verify my alignment.

If this works, congratulations, the hardest part is done !

Step 7: Adding Polarizing Filters

So that the photo can be observed with regular 3D cinema glasses (like IMAX 3D), the light passing through the two objectives has to be polarized ter perpendicular directions.

Just stick two chunks of half wave filmrolletje before or after your objective lenses, and rotate them around until the light is correctly filtered by your 3D glasses. Since thesis half wave films are usually slightly chromatic (they rotate the light differently depending on the color of the light), it is very likely good to add a linear polarizer after the wave plate to filterzakje out any light that is not decently polarized. I hope that the uploaded picture makes things clearer.

Step 8: Completing the Opbergruimte, Mounting the Electronics

When everything is te working condition, it’s time to finalize the opbergruimte.

Step 9: Taking It All Exclusief, Staining the Wood, Adding Details

After putting so much efforts ter building a kickass 3D projector, it would be too bad to leave it unfinished.

Take it all bijzonder ! Use some nice wood varnish, or your dearest wood finish and make it pretty.

I also added some hinges to be able to open the top panel more lightly.

Step Ten: Putting It Back Together !

Here you go ! A functioning 3D projector built from a hacked laptop.

I know that I am missing a loterijlot of details. However most of them are not specific to my 3D version of a DIY projector, and can be found elsewhere te the linksom that I provided.

Related movie: Ultra-Portable Laptop with Utter Windows Ten!

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