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The_gnu 5th June 2006 08:59 PM

The_Gnu's Lilliput projector (lot of pics)
(This thread contains my post from my worklog at the computer site, instead of writing 2 different text's I simply copy the updateposts, and thats why there might be some minor computer words included). Hope you like my work and feel free to comment and suggest :P

Okay, now its time for me to show of one of my curent projects. This is my first DIY project ever. I started the planing of my projector 1,5 years ago, and in the beggining I knew nothing about "building" or "modding". This has been my so called training project and now I'm stuck :D I have allready 2 new projects on the planing stage at this time. A small server and a larger HTPC case.

I Have always wanted a projector but I could never afford one. Then I came across a webpage about do it yourself projectors and decided to get started.
A lot of homemade projectors you see has a verry crapy and ugly look with duct tape and wood housings. This was not what I Wanted so I decided to make a projector out of aluminium and make it look as good as possible.

This is how I want it to look. The Alu plates will be brushed.
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Here is the internal structure. This type of projector is similar to those overhead projectors schools and offices often use. But instead of a translucent overhead paper you use a dissassembled TFT panel. Without the backlight TFT panels are verry thin and translucent. The distances between the different lenses etc are determined by the focal lengt of each lens. Finding the right type of lenses and lamp was the hardest part for me. I live in Sweden and I tried to find all the single parts here but I gave up since I didn't find any. And I wasn't shure if the different parts I was looking for would performe well together. Instead I bought all of the components from A very good Site that I recomend since they are very helpfull and they shipp worldwide.
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Time to get started. This was the smallest pice of 1,5mm alu tha i was allowed to order from the local metallshop. Its 2x1m
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Used my dremel to cut out the bottom and backplate.
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cut some alu anglebars for the backplate.
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tadaa!! :D
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To get that that brushed alu look I used standard sandpaper. Sanding it on free hand will create a lot of scratches and the brushing wont be straight. So I created this little simple thing. The Sandpaper will stay in a straight line thanks to that support pice of wood that runs long the side of the alu plate. Between the Sandpaper and the sanding "block", there is some soft blue padding to get a soft sandingsurface to awoid some parts of the aluplate to get sanded too much. The Alu plate was taped to the work bench using double sided tape and the results turned out great.
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almost but not yet.
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aaahh thats the look i want. But dont touch it yet those greasy fingers will make it uggly. I Used a spray can clear coat designed for alu rims, 2-4 layers, to make it greasy resistant and to give it that extra shine :D
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The backplate was masked and a 120mm fan hole cut.
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The edges where sanded using 80 , 120 , 240 grit sandpaper and is really smooth.
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clear coated backplate testfitting
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The_gnu 5th June 2006 09:02 PM

Time for some more pics.

Here is the lamp housing. It's made out of an old m-atx PSU.

The fanguard is cut away and holes are cut on each side to fit the condensorlens and the IR-filter.

testfitting the condensor lens.

the lamp housing is painted using heat resistant 600 C engin paint. To make it cure it needs to be heated slow to 225 C. This was probably not needed in my case but I gave it a try. So I put it in the owen And it turned out well. It looks and feels like black anodized aluminium :)

Here you can se the conensor lens on top and the IR-Filter on the bottom. The IR-filter is for removing some of the heat from the light directed forward. This will make the tft run a little bit cooler.

The lamp and the lamp attacment with a reflector.

I used wet sanding paper to smoothen the surface where the Heatsink will be. Put some thermal paste on and attached the heatsink with M3 screws/nuts.


The_gnu 5th June 2006 09:08 PM are the new pictures showing the fabrication of the left-front-right wall(s) of the projector case.

All three parts will be constructed from one big pice. Its cut out from the same aluminium plate as the bottom and back plate, using a dremel. I had to use a lot of "cheap" cutting disks because I was out of my original Dremel cutting disks.

I attached the plate to the workbench with some support wood (the dark ones) to get a larger "clamp" surface and avoid bending and misshaping the alu plate.To get the perfect size and nice edges, I used a normal file..??(i think thats what it's called in english) And some 120 , 240 grit sandpaper to get a smooth edge.

The plate is attached to the bench with double sided tape and brushed using the same method as mentioned earlier.

Time to bend. The whole plate is masked exept the parts that will be bent.

to get a smooth and round bend, I use a piece of old broomstick attached to a piece of wood. I clamp the whole structure to the work bench and use another piece of wood to apply even pressure and bend the whole thing


I used the rest of the broomstick to bend the plate a little bit more ,like this to make shure the angle was 90 degrees as the plate was flexing back after the first method.


The front is masked and ready for the giant hole to be cut out.

I used a lot of protecting maskin tape as I know that sometimes the Cutting disk might slip away and if that happens 1 layer of masking tape won't do the trick.... but 4 layers will do better safe than sorry.

julius20 5th June 2006 09:37 PM

Hi the_gnu,

very very nice work. Did you make this brush - style or did you buy it already looking this way...? If you make it, how do you do this??

Greetings Arno

germax 6th June 2006 04:33 AM

Amazing work!
Good luck with it, I am sure it will be great projector.

The_gnu 6th June 2006 08:46 AM


Originally posted by julius20
Hi the_gnu,

very very nice work. Did you make this brush - style or did you buy it already looking this way...? If you make it, how do you do this??

Greetings Arno

Thanks a lot...I made the brushing myself.. I show how in the first post. It was very easy, just using the tools laying around. You can find a more detailed guide I made on but it is the same method as mentioned in the first post

nick[x1] 6th June 2006 09:29 AM

Looking very good so far!

Not too sure about your light box though!

The_gnu 6th June 2006 04:57 PM


Originally posted by nick[x1]
Looking very good so far!

Not too sure about your light box though!

THx... The ligtbox isnt optimal I know that, dont know if the heatsink is doing any good etc.. But the reflektor, lamp and lenses are almost on the exakt distance from eachother that is recomended at What were you thinking of?.. anything I can improve.??

The_gnu 7th June 2006 11:32 PM

Time for some more pics of the projector case assembly.
CLICK images for larger pictures

the cutt is finished with a file and 240 grit sandpaper to get a perfectly smooth edge.

I will use a big piece of frostet plexi in that big hole. I will paint it black to prevent any light leaks. This is the plexi I am using. I got it from my temporary work at a drugstore. They where in the middle of moving the whole store and they had a lot of plexi that was about to be thrown away. So I got it :D This big piece of frosted plexi is actually a commercial stand for women make up.

Here is some of the other plexi I got for free. Take this amount x3...couldn't fit everything in the picture.

easy way to get nice edges quick without extra tools.

The piece of frosted plexi is spray painted black using heat resistant engine paint. The heat resistance isn't needed, it was just te only black paint I had and I liked the smooth and thick layer it creates.

Here you can se how it looks from the other side, the one that will be vissible.

This is the painted side of the plexi....two alu bars where cut and drilled. These will be the support for the plexi plate.

never min the finger ...please :wallbash:

test fitting the lamp

you probaby wonder where all the screws and nuts are that will hold this together. They are not there yet, this is just a test fitting and support brackets will be added later. But I will try to keep the screws as stealthed as possible.

I am going to create computer cases with the same theme....think it would be cool. I got the idea when I took this last pic.

Much more to come.... /GNU

I_eat_flowers 9th June 2006 10:19 AM

hi gnu,

looks great. fine work so far. go on. keen to see more.


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