Sure, you could spend hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on a high-quality mini projector for your smartphone. But, with a little ingenuity, a shoebox, and a magnifying glass, you can make your own projector. It may not look as good as one you buy from a store, but it’ll do in a pinch.

An Instructables member that goes by the name ASCAS recently published a how-to project for a smartphone projector that looks incredibly easy to make and doesn’t require a whole lot of materials.

DIY Smartphone Projector

With a shoebox magnifying lens, and a few other crafting items, like glue, foam board, and cutting tools, he built a projector that comes with its own smartphone mount.

It is a simple project, and something that would be great to do with the kids, especially if they are learning about light reflection and refraction in science. You can discuss why your smartphone has to be flipped upside-down in order for the image to appear right side up on the wall.

The image quality is far from superior. However, speaking from experience with the $20 Cardboard Smartphone Projector, I can say that the quality is comparable and you will probably spend a lot less on the materials if you build one yourself.

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3 replies on “Make your own smartphone projector with a shoebox and science”

  1. not sure this would work so well because the light coming off the phone, when its spread out to 2x the size, will be probably more than 2x dimmer. So MAYBE if you’re in a pitch black room it Might work ok.

  2. This reminds me of the plastic lenses that were sold in the flyers stuffed
    in Sunday newspapers. Said lenses, when placed in front of ye olde
    CRT TV, would make a big screen TV. A pale facsimile of today’s
    flast screen sets.

  3. Boring but now i want a projector out of a watch and a paper glass (or collapsible glass for extra portability).

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