Polarized Art Fixture Made From A Busted Laptop Screen


[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!

21 thoughts on “Polarized Art Fixture Made From A Busted Laptop Screen

    1. 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.

    2. 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 .

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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