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Beginner Eclipse Pinhole Projectors

  • Bit or Laser Size:
    3mm ABS (or any other opaque material)
    For the eclipse tomorrow, I made a few different pinhole projectors. A simple single aperture, or multiple apertures to make different eclipse patterns. And the smiley face should show eyes that start looking in one direction and end looking in another.

    Photo Aug 20, 2 04 26 PM.jpg Photo Aug 20, 2 06 45 PM.jpg

    After the eclipse, I found that these worked very well. The trick is to have them far enough from the target surface you are casting a shadow on. I spent the first half hour of the eclipse wondering why they always showed sharply focused bright dots until I realized that I hadn't pulled them far enough away:

    Photo Aug 21, 11 38 54 AM.jpg
    Photo Aug 20, 2 04 26 PM.jpg Photo Aug 20, 2 06 45 PM.jpg Photo Aug 21, 11 38 54 AM.jpg

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  1. Jonathon Duerig
  2. Jonathon Duerig
    What a day. I woke up at 3:30am to head to a nearby spot where there would be a totality of the eclipse. There was a shockingly large amount of traffic for 4am, let me tell you. We thought we were the early birds but clearly not. We made it to a good spot with about half an hour to spare. During the eclipse, I managed to capture a number of photos of these pinhole projectors in use. It turns out that the rubber bands with a hole for the phone camera was too fiddly. I mostly ended up holding the projector in one hand and taking a photo with the other.

    @Rick 2.0 I can't view your photo. I'd love to take a look once the permissions are updated.

    Others: I'm really glad you found a use for it. I cut out a bunch of extras and handed out pinhole projectors to other people who were at the same park as I was. It is really great to alternate between looking through glasses and using a projector. I didn't have any second-chances, so I feel very lucky that my designs worked the first time. I was also going to try to take a time-lapse of the smiley-face crescent. But, alas, that didn't work out.

    I didn't get any good photos of the totality itself. Mostly, I was just glued to the incredible sight of the corona. It is eerie and completely mind-blowing. And it felt like I was dropped directly into a science fiction FX shot. The growing darkness and cold was also a bit unsettling as we got close to the totality. Even knowing what it was, it was a bit disorienting and I felt a psycho-somatic sense of slight dizziness and disorientation. I've seen other eclipses before, but being in a totality region was something else entirely. Spending 13-14 hours in a car today in often stop-and-go traffic was absolutely worth it for the experience.
      MaryD likes this.
  3. Rick 2.0
      Jonathon Duerig and MaryD like this.
  4. Alex krause
    Might have to bang one of these out on the laser real quick ... I'm in line to see 95-97%percent of the eclipse
      MaryD and Mark Carew like this.
  5. MaryD
    We should be getting 80% eclipse view here in the Northeastern US. How about you?
  6. David the swarfer
    I remember an eclipse that created patterns when it shone through our net curtains, an effect like thousands of pinholes.
      Mark Carew and MaryD like this.
  7. MrJackson
    I've got one on my 3d printer now, should be pretty easy to use!
      Mark Carew and MaryD like this.
  8. MaryD
    Neat Idea
  9. Mark Carew
    That is really cool Jonathan we are going to cut some of these out today thank you
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