How to Make Polarized 3D Glasses

Written by dwight benignus
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How to Make Polarized 3D Glasses
(Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

The polarised lenses in 3D glasses only allow certain wavelengths of light to travel to your eye. When two synchronised projectors project the same image at a different polarisation onto the screen, the glasses give an illusion of the eye-popping 3D visual effects you see in the theatre. You can make your own 3D glasses with polarising plastic and some old glasses.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Polarising plastic
  • Pair of glasses or sunglasses
  • X-ACTO knife or a high-quality pair of scissors
  • Glue or a plastic bonding agent
  • Sharpie or pen

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Pop the lenses out of your old unused glasses or sunglasses.

  2. 2

    Cut two pieces from the polarised plastic about twice the size of the lens holes.

  3. 3

    Place one plastic polarised piece on top of the other. Rotate one of the pieces. You will notice that as you rotate the polarised plastic over the other piece, less or more light will be let in. At a certain orientation, the polarised lenses will let all light in, and when rotated another way, they will let no light in and will appear dark. When the lenses are dark, the polarisations are perpendicular to each other. Keep the lenses in this direction.

  4. 4

    Place the lenses from the old glasses on top of the two sheets in this orientation. Use the Sharpie to trace around the lens. Repeat with the other lens in the perpendicular orientation.

  5. 5

    Use the X-ACTO knife or scissors to cut the lenses out of the plastic sheets.

  6. 6

    Place glue around the edge of the lenses. Pop the lenses into the frames of the glasses.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure to have the lenses in perpendicular polarised. This means if they are laid on top of each other, they will let in no light.
  • One way is to use LCD screens from old electronic equipment. LCD screens use two polarised sheets of plastic. You may also be able to find sheets of polarised plastic at a local photography store.

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