No CD Case, No Tape 3D Hologram Pyramid: the Quickest and Easiest Way to Make Your Own. (templates Included)




Introduction: No CD Case, No Tape 3D Hologram Pyramid: the Quickest and Easiest Way to Make Your Own. (templates Included)

About: Hi there! We are Frank and Gish and we like to explore the world of lifehacking and DIY. We also run a community driven DiY francophone platform.

I am amazed and trully amused by this clever idea. We all know its not real 3D, but 4 times a 2D image (Pepper's ghost effect), but the result is quite intertaining. I did the whole CD cutting thing, and was very satisfied with it, although cutting many triangles from hard plastic is not so easy, especially if you want a bigger one for an iPad.

So I thought of another material that could be used to build this shape: acetate. It's clear, foldable, can be sliced easily, stiff enought to hold itself, cheap.... in short: perfect.

I went and Google it. Some guys thought of that too. But the funny thing is that nobody thought of doing a single piece. Instead, the same steps are suggested to create the projector: cut 4 identical faces and tape/glue them together. Well, no need for that since a regular letter format acetate sheet is large enought to place 4 faces side by side and cut only one shape. Even for the iPad template!

There was still this damn tape that would hold the shape together. No matter how clean are my hands, I can't avoid leaving fingerprints on it. Ok, when you watch the hologram in the dark, it doesn't matter much. But still, what if we could do without? That's where the tab and slit come along.

So i created 2 templates, 1 for smartphones and another for tablets, that you can download in attachment and print yourself. You can go at a printer and it will cost around 2$ for 1 sheet, or you can buy acetate sheets and print at home, as long as you have a laser printer. Ink jet won't work with acetate, as it never dries.

Hope you like it! :)

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Step 1: What You'll Need

Download and print the templates in attachment. If you can't print on acetate (or don't want to), simply print the template on a regular white paper and paste it on acetate, making sure the two sheets stays together while you cut.

Step 2: Start Cutting the Template

Try to have a bright background for your workplace, or place a white paper on your table to see the lines and fold marks.

Step 3: Be Meticulous

Keep your cut as precise as possible everywhere, with extra care to the center part, which will end up being the base of your pyramid.
But also keep in mind that everything can be adjusted at the very end.

Step 4: Cut the Slit

Using a cutter and a ruler, cut the slit for the tab, following the lenght of the stroke. Scisors won't work very well for this step.

Step 5: Fold

If your want precision, use the non sharp edge of the cutter and slightly engrave the acetate on the fold marks. Be careful not to cut the sheet. This will help the acetate to fold on the edge.

Step 6: Or Fold Without the Cutter

If you don't have a cutter, simply transfer precisely one triangle on another and fold well. Don't forget the fold mark on the little tab.

Step 7: Insert Tab

The tab was made so that it won't slip too easily. Insert first corner, and gently force the second corner in. Pull back a little so that the edges come as straight and close as possible.

Step 8: Soften the Edges

To make sur you have a nice shape, unfold the edges lightly to avoid curved faces.

Step 9: Test Your Result

A sharp, crisp image, done in less than 5 minutes. I printed several example to test my projectors, and it worked perfectly every time.

If you find that your pyramid is not straight enough, try these 2 steps:

1- Try to fold and unfold some corners. If the tension is not the same on each corners, the pyramid will not be well balanced.

2- If you tried the 1st point, and the problem is at the base, see if you have any unequal edges that you can carefully cut to smooth the base.

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8 Discussions


Question 1 year ago on Step 9

Can we use single side of the pyramid for reflection of the image??


2 years ago

Thank you so much!! It saved me money (I almost bought plastic waste from online) and CD cases (that I was about to destroy following another blog). I attributed you here ( and here (


2 years ago

where did you buy it? I am planning on making one for my STEM project to try to place 4 small projectors underneath the sides, and project my model for the project.


2 years ago

OMG YES. after 10mins and many swear words this is a dream.


Reply 2 years ago

Haha! What part made you swear?


4 years ago

When testing and printing the templates, I noticed that the fold marks were quite dark, as you can see at step 9. Note that the lines are now black 40% instead of 65%. They are still dark enough to see them but less visibles when fold.

DIY Hacks and How Tos

Nice improved technique. Way better than some of the other methods.


Reply 4 years ago

Thank you so much!