Hand-drawn holograms

Craft & Design

Jason has a cool item on Hackszine about lo-tek “abrasion holography:”

Typically the creation of a hologram involves lasers and various other expensive equipment and materials. William J. Beaty figured out a low-tech way to create your own holograms using a simple abrasion technique that requires only a compass and a chunk of plastic. He came across the idea while walking through a parking lot, noticing strange hand prints that seemed to float above or deep inside the surface of polished car hoods.

Abrasion Holography – Link

DIY hand-drawn holograms – Link

20 thoughts on “Hand-drawn holograms

  1. Graeme says:

    A “compass” is used to point at magnetic north. A “pair of compasses” is used to draw circles.

  2. Sir Real says:

    This looks more like stereo imaging than holography.

  3. sbn.. says:

    Yes, the stereo pair image is confusing – but bear in mind that it’s used here to show the depth of the image in the hologram. In other words, that’s a stereo pair of the same plate and the effect it displays when seen in person. (It’s not a joke – I’ve done this myself).

  4. John says:

    This is no more a hologram than a Viewmaster is. This is a dumb article.

  5. Jason Striegel says:

    Sorry for the confusion. The image in the post is a stereo image of the same chunk of plastic, taken from two different angles. If you look closely, you can see that the visible image of the cube is different from the two perspectives.

    It’s not just a viewmaster-style stereo image. It’s a legitimate holography method that just uses scratches in plastic instead of expensive laser equipment. You can actually move your head around and see “around” the side of the hologram.

  6. Nice says:

    John, maybe if you’d stop wallowing in your own ignorance and read the article we’d be spared reading the garbage you spew.

    Jason, there was no confusion in the post. There’s just too many idiots who assume the wrong thing and post based on their wrong assumption rather than actually reading.

  7. airship says:

    Nice, I assume you’re wrong because I haven’t actually read your comment.

  8. mik3 says:

    There’s an instructable at
    that describes building a tool out of a Dremel to make the process easier…

  9. Bill Beaty says:

    Hey, why did Make have a post about my Hologram article above, but without linking to it? PLEASE edit the link to point to my actual article.


  10. W. Beaty says:

    > This is just crying out for someone to generate complex pictures using CNC.

    The scratches must be almost perfectly smooth with no jaggies at all. Normal CNC doesn’t work, but a couple months ago Evan at homeshopmachinist.net found that “drag engraving” does reduce the jaggies enough, see:


    > This looks really cool. I’d like to see a video of the process & the resulting image though!

    Lol, I was finally going to do a video just last weekend, but it rained the whole time. These look great in direct sunlight, poor under most light sources except high-power pin spots.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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