Polarized art fixture made from a busted laptop screen

laptop_screen_polarized_art_fixture

[Pedro] had a busted laptop LCD screen on his hands, but rather than throw it out, he brainstormed what he could possibly do with what would typically be considered a worthless item. He decided to make a simple art installation using the scrapped part, so he gathered a few other supplies and got to work.

The first thing he did was pull the LCD screen from the laptop, separating the front panel from the backlight panel. He drained the liquid crystal fluid from the display, and set it inside a picture frame in place of the glass. He added spacers around the edge of the frame so that the backlight could be mounted several inches behind the LCD panel.

[Pedro] then found a few polystyrene and polycarbonate plastic items from around the house, and placed them inside the frame. As you can see in the picture above, the polarizing filter built into the LCD screen makes for some pretty cool effects.

While you could debate for hours over exactly what is art, there’s no denying that his PolFrame looks cool and is a great way to save electronics from the scrap heap. We just want to know what he did with the LC fluid he drained from the screen!

Comments

  1. Roberto says:

    Is that sheet linearly or circularly polarized?
    Can the liquid crystal be used for something else?

    • Otacon2k says:

      Scotchtape nakes for some interesting effects as well. Can be layered and glued down to form pictures only visible with polarization. I know I was playing around with it. Just hold a piece of scotchtape in front of your lcd monitor wearing polarization filter glasses and it will show all its beauty.

    • adric says:

      linearly polarized for most lcd screens.

      Interesting note that some (if not all) CPL filters are also liniar, polarizing glass with another layer that causes a roll in the light, not some wacky bulls eye polarization I first thought they were doing .

  2. Per Jensen says:

    I have even taken apart 32″ LCD panels, and you are lucky if there is 1 ml of the liquid crystal between the glass sheets. I don’t think that he drained anything out, the liquid sticks to the glass, and the amount is immensely small.

  3. Bryan says:

    this is exactly how stress testing clear plastic parts work. by measuring the distance or fervency of the color bands you can deduce the internal stress of the item.
    http://www.ptonline.com/articles/stress-diagnose-it-before-it-ruins-your-parts

  4. Oren Beck says:

    Art-Is.

  5. Haku says:

    So if I get this straight, you can do this without the need of a dead (but not cracked/smashed) LCD screen;

    ie: place a (bought/salvaged) polarizer on a (bought/salvaged/homemade) backlight and a 2nd polarizer a few inches away so that plastic objects can be placed inbetween the polarizers.

    ?

    I’ll have to try and remember this the next time I get a dead LCD screen or polarizers.

  6. peter says:

    here’s a relatively inexpensive polarizing film, for doing similar things. to get this effect, you’ll need two polarizers at 90° angles, with the object-of-interest between them.

    http://www.escience.ca/gensci/RENDER/7/1035/1081/9985.html

  7. macona says:

    A friend did something similar last year. We took 32″ LCD panels that had the panels removed for something else and used them as light boxes. In place of the glass we used polarizing film. Then above that glasses with different coefficients of expansion were fused together. You look at them though a polarizer.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/67292116@N00/5135263104/in/set-72157624980669265

  8. Stryker says:

    sooo… what is the use of the “LC”? no-one’s said yet. :(

  9. Denouncer says:

    I believe that the part about draining the LC is false. Until more information or, work specs can be provided, I have not been given clear enough information as to why I or anyone else should even attempt this.

  10. Luke says:

    what makes more sense, is that he might have removed the polarizing film of each side of the glass-lc-glass part, as these are adhesive sheets stuck to each side…

  11. John Lock says:

    Cool effect, yes. This device also has a practical application in thermopolymer mold flow analysis, especially in acrylic or polystyrene lens manufacture.

  12. Jimmy says:

    This is cool, but you need no special items to experience this effect. Bring up a white page on your (working) flat screen. Put on some off-the-shelf polarized sunglasses. Now, use the screen to backlight whatever clear plastic objects you want to examine. Tilt your head size-to-side for different effects.

  13. Lars Haeh says:

    One good use for liquid crystal is to fix LCD screens that have water damage. If you add it where the water got in, it will displace the water somewhat. It won’t bring it back completely to normal, but it is a lot better then big dead spots at the bottom of the screen.

  14. Alex says:

    If you guys want to learn more about this phenomenon , it’s called “Birefringence”. I didn’t see it mentioned, so I thought I would mention it.

  15. Laura Harris says:

    The gooey plastic stuff they sell in little tubes for making bubbles that don’t pop right away (I think it’s PVA- not sure though) do some pretty spectacular birefringence effects- lookie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/imajilon/445601253

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