Turn Cell Phone and Tablet in 3D Hologram




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.

Have you seen this yet? I mean, have you seen the actual hologram, for real?

If not, it will take you about 20 minutes to get your own pyramid shaped hologram display.

Update: If you want to try a even easier way, check out our other Instuctable that shows how to simply print one.

Although it is not real 3D because it is 4 times a 2D images, the result is simply amazing. The original idea comes from American Hacker.

Considering that a lot of people are asking for dimensions for bigger devices such as new iPhone 6S Plus or tablets, we created templates for several popular devices. They are in attachment and printable.
(We know. You're welcome. ;)

You could also create you own holographic video, keeping in mind that all areas aound the subject need to remain black (the use of a green screen helps) and paste the image 4 times in the screen using a video editing program. Anyone willing to give tips on this matter is welcome to comment. ;)

Anyone who would like to see the step by step en français, c'est par ici! :)

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Step 1: What You'll Need

  • Plastic CD case, ideally not too used or scratched
  • Cutter with a good blade
  • Ruler
  • Template for phone or tablet (see attachments) or pen and paper
  • Scotch tape
  • Krazy glue (optional)
  • Cutting mat (optional)

Step 2: Create or Print Your Template

This is what the basic template looks like. You can either recreate this or simply print one of the PDF in attachment. You can choose from several smart phones and tablets dimensions.

Step 3: Cut Your Template

Since the pyramid is 4 times the same dimensions, you only need one template.

Step 4: Cut Your First Shape

Secure your template on your CD case with scotch tape. Unlike on the picture, use a ruler. This will make things much more easier. I also recommend doing multiple light-medium cuts instead of a unique heavy one. You are less incline to crack the plastic and your cut will be more precise.

Step 5: Repeat Step 4

You need 4 identical shapes.

Step 6: Create the Pyramid

Lay your 4 faces flat, side by side, and tape the edges.

Step 7: Finalize the Pyramid

Secure the remaining edge and give the dimensions to your pyramid. It needs to stand by itself, as straight as possible, upside down.

Step 8: Glue Edges Together

This really is optional, as it can be a little bit messy. It can make your pyramid more sturdy but can also mess up the clearness of your shapes.

My personnal opinion is that if you tape precautiously, the result will be fine enough and you won't need glue.

Step 9: Try Your New Display

Here is the original video, ready for you to try your gadget. Just place your pyramid upside down (wide opening upwards) in the center of the image. Close the lights, and enjoy!!

Step 10: To Watch the Final Result

Filmed in 4k, this is a great example of what you see with the pyramid.

By the way, I created the templates based on popular 2014-15 mobile devices, if you think one is missing, feel free to let me know, I'll add it to the attachments.

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    16 Discussions

    Abdul RahimS

    Question 1 year ago on Step 9

    You have shown everything except the placement of the DIY project over the Phone. How did you placed the DIY object on the Phone???


    Reply 2 years ago

    Hey tcman2006, I didn't check the specific screen size of the IPhone 6, but if it's similar to Nexus 5, you'd be fine.

    Hope it works!


    Reply 2 years ago


    You mean how did we do the holographic video?

    It's simply 4x the same image, as you can see in the original video above, under step 9. For more details on the process, i would suggest you look it up on the net though, there's plenty of tutorials. :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    yeah I meant the video...I wonder if there should be a specific distance from each image etc...I will try and find some more info. Thanks for the reply and thanx for the instructable...really cool


    2 years ago

    I made some of these a while back, I laser cut them so they could fold flat.


    2 years ago

    Cool! It's so much fun!


    Reply 2 years ago

    I had a very hard time cutting the CD plastic without cracking it... scissors just wouldn't "cut" it. Instead I used the plastic window from a box of knives I bought. Most products today (dolls, kids trucks, etc. ) come in a box with a window on it. That plastic is perfect for this and for cutting.


    Reply 2 years ago

    You are right, it's not an easy task.. Scissors won't do it though. That is why I strongly suggest doing multiple cuts, pressing lightly(with a good cutter) several times on the same edge. It will take a little bit more time but will give better result, and the plastic won't crack.

    The plastic window from kids toys is a great idea! It is similar to the other Instructable we did with acetate, if ever you need a template. I guess the idea of doing this with plastic cd case must have come from a desire of recyclability and sturdiness, but I find the acetate much more efficient.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I did try it with the CD case and cut with an xacto knife. If one can get about 1/2 way through the plastic it can be flexed until it breaks. Unfortunately, my last bend cracked the plastic and I gave up for the night. While I was lying in bed I got the idea of the thinner plastic.

    As a side note I printed out the template below, used a needle to mark all the cross points onto the plastic, then after cutting out the shape used a butter knife and straight edge to crease. This way I only had to tape (or glue) in one spot.

    p.s. thanks for the instructable.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Haha, yes!! I went the same path thinking about the acetate and the 1 whole piece instead of 4 separates. The tape or glue still bugged me so I got rid of it. (for more details: https://www.instructables.com/id/No-CD-case-no-tape-3D-hologram-pyramid-the-quickes/)

    Thanks for sharing!


    2 years ago

    reminiscence of R2-D2's holographic message of Princess Leia


    4 years ago

    For those who would think of doing this with glass instead of plastic, know that we've tried with a 5mm thick glass, but unfortunately it double the the hologram, and we've been told that less than 5mm would be to fragile. So far plastic or plexi seem to work best, but I heard that a thin acetate or Duralar sheet could work. If anyone tried already i'd be happy to hear about the result!