How to Make a Hologram Projector

Written by andrew latham
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How to Make a Hologram Projector
Hologram images are created by the interference pattern of a laser. (laser image by serge simo from

There are two main types of holograms: reflection and transmission. Reflection holograms store the information of a 3D image in a thick photographic emulsion sandwiched between two glass plates and must be viewed with a bright spotlight. Transmission holograms use mirrors and two laser sources, a reference beam and the object beam, to print the hologram on film and can be viewed with the same laser you use to create the image. Each type requires a different projector. Although building a commercial hologram projector is too complex a project to describe in a short article, it is possible to build basic transmission and reflection hologram projectors out of a bright spot light and a laser beam, respectively.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Spot light
  • Laser beam
  • Hologram plate

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    Reflection Hologram Projector

  1. 1

    Place a bright spot light at the same distance and angle from the hologram plate as when you first exposed the film. You cannot use fluorescent lights, lasers or light from a frosted bulb to view a reflection hologram projector.

  2. 2

    Switch on the spot light and check the quality of your hologram.

  3. 3

    Adjust the position of the hologram by moving it from side to side and tilting it until you get the brightest and most focused hologram possible.

    Transmission Hologram Projector

  1. 1

    Place the laser and the hologram plate in the same location you used to expose the hologram. If you are using a different location, place them at the same distance and angle to each other.

  2. 2

    Switch on the laser. The image you see will be the exact copy of the original, what is called a virtual image.

  3. 3

    Place the laser head-on from the hologram plate to get a clearer image. The viewing angle with the head-on illuminating will vary slightly, but the quality of the image will improve. This is a good option if you are new to hologram projections.

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