Watch living cells in a self-build 3D hologram projector!

Today we want to show you a very simple and yet very cool and impressive way to visualize our cell movies in a self-build hologram projector! This is a nice project to do with students during a biology lesson.

Scroll down for the full instructions.

HeLa cells rotating in 3D

Time-lapse of cell division

Following a few simple steps, we were able to turn our smartphones into 3D hologram projectors displaying all our results including as well the 3D video of our cells.

Here is the list of what you need for this project:

  • CD case
  • Graph paper
  • Pen
  • Glass cutter
  • Tape
  • Tablet or smartphone 


Afterwards, follow these steps:

Step 1

Using a pen and graph paper, make the following rhombus shape (dimensions are 2x7x12 cm) and cut it out with scissors.

step 1

Step 2

Trace the rhombus shape on the CD case. Using the glass cutter, carefully cut out the rhombus shape. Now use this first piece as a template to cut out three additional pieces.

step 2

Step 3

Connect the four pieces together with clear tape.

step 3

Step 4

Download STEVE with few sample cells included and realise your video. The final movie plays the same video from four different perspectives as they are reflected in the panels of your new device. This gives the 3D image projection out of the phone in the form of a hologram.

Step 5

Turn off the lights and place the projector screen on your smartphone and load up a hologram-specific video.

step 5


Within a few minutes, you will be able to create 3D images of your cells floating in the air.

Enjoy the videos!!