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Do you want to make your own projector for family movie night? Whether you’re looking for a fun weekend project using your phone or building something a bit more in-depth, here are three full-blown projector plans for you to choose from, along with two DIY projector screen options.
|Materials:||Magnifying glass, shoebox, foam board, glue sticks, PVA glue, and a smartphone|
|Tools:||XACTO knife, hot glue gun, hacksaw, and a ruler|
This is the most common type of projector that you can build yourself. This cardboard box phone projector doesn’t have the highest quality, but you can complete it for under $20! Whether it’s practicing and learning science skills with the kids or a way to kill an hour or two, it’s a fun project all around.
|Materials:||10W LED and driver, glue, heatsink, plastic box, 12V computer fan, LCD Display, 12V adapter, USB speakers, power socket, two 5” or 7” Fresnel lenses, power switch, 3 RCA female outlet jack connector socket, 90mm magnifying lens, and four 70mm magnifying lens|
Consider this LCD projector if you want to build something with quality. There are many parts for the kit that you’ll need to order, but you should be able to get everything you need for less than $50.
Even better, when you’re done, you’ll have a projector that you can use for various occasions. While you’ll need various materials to build this projector, the only tool that you need is a screwdriver!
|Materials:||DLP2000 micromirror, raspberry pi, insulation tape, and audio device (optional)|
|Tools:||Computer and soldering gun|
There’s just something so appealing about having a compact projector. Having one that you built yourself makes it even better. This mini pocket projector is exactly that.
It’ll cost about $150 to get everything that you need, but you will get high-quality results with a projector that you can hook up just about anywhere. It’s a complicated setup, but there’s a comprehensive video that will walk you through everything that you need to do!
|Materials:||Primer paint, paint, wooden pieces cut to size, white paper or blackout cloth, wood glue, nails or screws, staples, tape, black border trim, sandpaper, corner braces, marker or pencil, and anchors or hooks|
|Tools:||Measuring tape, hammer, screwdriver, and a staple gun|
While you can use your new projector to display your show on just about anything, it’s best to have a projector screen if you want even better results. This is an affordable way to get your own projector screen, and you can customize it to any size that you want.
Just keep in mind that it doesn’t break down well, so once you build it, you need to have somewhere to store it. Still, it’s a great blank canvas!
|Materials:||Five 1.5” 10’ PVC pipes, six 1.5” PVC pipe elbows, eight 1.5” PVC pipe T-joints, white black-out shade, black duct tape, adhesive fabric fastener|
|Tools:||PVC pipe cutter|
If you’re looking for a projector that’s super easy to transport, consider this project from Home Depot. There’s a step-by-step guide that breaks down exactly how to build this complete projector screen, and it’s also easy to take down and set back up for movie nights!
Even better, you only need one tool to build it (a PVC pipe cutter), and the exact dimensions are laid out for everything else. Building this DIY projector screen couldn’t be easier!
Maybe you don’t have a magnifying glass on hand, or perhaps you want to try something different. While a magnifying glass is one of the easiest ways to make your own projector, it’s not the only way.
You can take a stab at making your own with a bottle of water and scissors. Don’t expect the same quality results, but sometimes, it’s simply fun to see what you can make out of different materials!
Sure! Ideally, you want a plain white sheet but gray can work too. You want to hang the sheet and try to get it as tight as possible for the best results.
You can also project directly onto a wall, and white or gray walls work best. It’s up to you how much effort you want to put into the screen and what level of results that you’ll be happy with.
Yes, but the price is going to be much higher, and it’s going to take much more effort. Still, there’s no denying the high-quality results!
Whether it’s a projector or something simpler, making something yourself adds an extra element to the project that nothing else can match.
Hopefully, after going through the different plans here, you can find something suitable for your needs and get your next projector done in no time!
Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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