UPDATE: May 3rd - Playing Minecraft on the newer iTorch :)

UPDATE: NEW iTorch 3D printed version! && Finally uploaded some videos, hope you like them. :)

Post by ITorch Media Sharing.



Media Sharing

Created By: Travis Higgins
This Instructable is for a prototype homemade projector that can be illuminated by any decent LED flashlight/floodlight.

This is my first published instructable so please leave comments and/or suggestions! Any feedback is very welcome and I will try to respond to everyone as soon as I see it!

At this stage the iTorch is a kit that I hope to be able to make available if I were to somehow get my hands on my own laser cutter. I have been spending a good amount of money using school equipment to laser cut this project, and got a quote to use the 3d printer and the price was astronomical. So needless to say a laser cutter and 3d printer would go to good use and be greatly appreciated.

Though you could probably reverse engineer one of your own. ;)

I designed the iTorch to be a portable and wireless projection system that would allow a user to freely project their media wherever they choose. I am currently working on integrating the iTorch into a gaming platform where the iTorch is both the viewing device (tv) as well as the controller!

The concept for the iTorch came from trying to find a financial solution for another larger scale project I had been working on. A interactive and holographic environment that would have required the use of several costly projection systems.

However financing the project has been an issue. So I tried to redesign the installation on a smaller scale. Though a small scale solution may have conveyed the idea, it would not have allowed anyone to have the full experience.

I needed projectors, and they aren't cheap, so I thought I would build my own.

In creating these projectors I came up with the idea for a portable battery powered projector that was illuminated by the power of a flashlight.

From personal experience with projection, and researching the purchase of several projector units I found that the main issue for projector longevity were their bulbs. The light bulb in a projector seems to be the most common part to break or burn out in the life of a projector, but with the iTorch - if you have another flashlight you are good to go!

The iTorch design was created and built by Travis Higgins for a capstone project in New Media at the University of Maine. In development of virtual reality shared experiences (shared augmented reality). The iTorch was designed to be a portable and wireless projection system that would allow a user to freely project their media ( or augmented data) wherever they choose.




Step 1: Parts!


This Instructable does require a little bit of technical skill (disassembling LED screen) and if you are trying to build it from scratch it will take a little bit of math and access to a fabrication lab.

It takes an hour to cut the wood into a kit in the laser cutter. I use a 4' x 2' piece of Birch that I cut down to 24" x 18" to fit the laser bed. It's $10 a sheet at Home Depot, and costs $10/hr to use the laser cutter.

I've been using aluminum foil from my kitchen for the reflective siding in the light box. So I don't count that.

The Flashlight cost around 50$ + $40 for the batteries and charger I believe. Those can vary.

The 12V fans I get at RadioShack for $16 today, I think they were on sale the first time I went. You can get the male to male couplers there too for about $6-7. I also get the 5V USB rechargeable power bricks there too insanely cheap, usually on sale, today I got one for 4$.

The LCD panel is a 2.0'' TFT from Adafruit at a hefty 45$.

Raspberry Pi at a lovely $35.

SD card 10-20$

So here are the parts you will need to build your own iTorch!

(1)- iTorch assembly kit - (coming soon!)

- Main Body Assembly (body,lcdholder, lens holder)

- Flashlight Holder Assembly (varies depending on flashlight type, for this 'able I'm using the 'SuperBright')

- Raspberry Pi Assembly

(1) Flashlight - For this instructable we are using the SuperBright LED flashlight. - $45-50 + batteries

(1)- Raspberry Pi model B - http://www.element14.com/community/community/raspb... $35

(1) - USB bluetooth & wifi combo - $20ish
(1) - USB storage flashdrive - $10-20

*(1) - SD card for RPi OS or multiple RPi OS's - $10 - 20

(1)- 2.0" NTSC/PAL (Television) TFT Display - 2.0" Diagonal http://www.adafruit.com/products/911#tutorials - $45

(1)- 9v battery

(1)- 12v 8-AA battery holder & 8AA batteries - $4 for the holder

(atleast 1) - camera lens - I used a Canon macro C lens and another Canon lens, the lens cap i used works for both.

(1) rear lens cap for the camera lens you are going to use. I got mine from GoodWill for like 10$, was a Canon SLR.

(1)- 5v Enercell 5v 800mah PowerBank http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?produc... $5-15 usually on sale

Tape - painters or electrical.

(1) 12VDC microfan http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?produc...

** velcro!


Laser cutter



Hello nsuarez19, good question, I'd really like to make it into a commercial product and put it on the shelves at best buy or something haha.. I would also love to be able to mass produce kits, both laser cut and 3d print versions. I'm just not 100% sure if anyone would be interested. Plus I'm constantly working on the design, redesigning reprinting and always going back to the drawing board. More comments like yours are a definite help to motivate me and potentially get my butt in gear getting the iTorch out there and available for people. :)
This is what I've been working on mostly though, newest model of the iTorch! Over 50% smaller, wayyy lighter, far less light bleeding, 3 step build kit. :)
<p>when will this come out!</p>
Thanks for the input plucas1, I have been experimenting with tying everything into one power source. Unfortunately my local radioshack has a very limited selection. Which leaves me to make my own battery pack, like the ones you can find here at instructables.com!
<p>hey nice work, I really like your work so far </p><p>I would change one thing though and use a 12volt lipo pack with a regulator for the 5v and 9volt rails. the reasons for this is 2 fold, I really don't want to pay for 3 battery packs and pi's and LCD's like a constant voltage. the fans will probably take up to 15volt depending on quality, make, etc.</p>
<p>actually your LCD handles 6-15volt so you could run that of the 12volt too saving on precious room. yes the batteries will deplete faster but if its about portability then downsize on batteries</p>
Thanks Jim. I was using it for reflection and heat dispersal. Maybe I will paint it white for a better effect! On the first model I used half reflective tape and half tin foil.
<p>You will get better results using white paint inside, instead of foil, unless your foil is serving an additonal function as heat dispersal. Foil isn't actually all that reflective.</p>
I am familiar, currently that is on the back burner for now. We have a objet printer here at school, unfortunately pricing is quite high. So die to that and the fact that I'm working on a newer version that has improved performance, getting a finished 3d model made to print for this build may have to wait another week or two. Thanks for taking the time to comment aternes1!
if you are familiar with CAD programs, you can probably design your housing in 3D the get it printed from the website Shapeways.
<p>iTorch Kit fresh cut! Who wants one? :)</p>
I have thought about it Blue_Hawaii, I don't know if anyone would give me money though haha. It has been a struggle to find the funds to keep developing. But that only makes things interesting, and let's me try to find creative ways to solve arising problems. :)
Thought about doing a Kickstarter to get the funding you need to go big time?
Thanks for the comment craftclarity! I have had a hard time choosing between lead images and keep switching between the logo and the cutout of the actual prototype.. Now that you've mentioned that I think I'll leave the prototype up more!
<p>I really like this project—I bet it would get more attention if the lead image told the story of what it actually is, though. I wouldn't have known what you were talking about if I hadn't clicked through...You might consider putting a nicer lead image up. <br>Other than that, cool build, great 'ible! Keep 'em coming!</p>
I'm currently working on using the iTorch in a game platform. Where the iTorch is both the viewing device as well as the controller!
Thanks Ron! You certainly have a grasp on what I'm going for, many possibilities indeed. Some of them I talk about in my blog Facebook.com/iTorch has more info.<br> And thanks for pointing that out about the prices, i added links to most of the items but forgot prices, I should add that right away! :)<br>LCD - 45$<br>Raspberry pi - 35$<br>SD card - 10-20$<br>SuperBright flashlight - 50$ + batteries = 80$<br>Wood material( all together for prototyping builds) 250$ <br>One iTorch wood material - 3-4$<br>Total fabrication lab time (r&amp;d access to laser cutter) 10$/hr- 150-250$<br>Fab time for 1 iTorch - 5$<br>Misc parts from RadioShack - fan/ batteries / adapter - $40<br><br>So I guess for one iTorch without all the research and development time in the lab would cost approximately $200-220.
<p>I was thinking &quot;iTorch&quot; in the sense of computer-enabled flashlight (the British call a flashlight a &quot;torch&quot;).</p><p>Being able to make your own DIY handheld projector is fun, but what is most exciting to me is the possibility for sharing a media experience with friends in a dark room or city at night. Make a dozen of these and I can see kids using them to create a puppet or planetarium show; or perhaps each person has a puzzle piece and needs to coordinate with the other participants to complete the puzzle.</p><p>How much do all the ingredients currently cost?</p>
Does anyone like the Ghostbusters poster? :)
The raspberry pi definitely gives the iTorch more possibilities. But the iTorch is a flashlight powered projector that can take composite input currently. Developing a small computer/media processor for the iTorch could be in the future.
Would I be correct and assume this is more of a raspberry pi powered projector? iTorch is kinda misleading to me, but interesting intructable none the less.

About This Instructable




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More by MrTravisHiggins:Creating Custom 3D Cribbage Boards With a Laser Cutter! WiiTorch - First Person Gaming Projector Augment Your Reality With the ITorch Raspberry Pi Flashlight Projector 
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