3-Hole-PUNCH Pinhole Projector

Small boy using the 3-Hole PUNCH Pinhole Projector (Image credit: Vivian White)

The PUNCH Outreach team designed the 3-Hole-PUNCH Pinhole Projector (3HPPP) so that everyone can experience and explore the wonder of how a small, lens-less hole of any shape works to create real images of the Sun or other bright light sources, both indoors and outdoors.

Image credit: Vivian White

Our projector allows you to observe the Sun safely during eclipses or on any sunny day!

Sanlyn and Anyse Buxner view the October 14, 2023 annular eclipse with the 3-Hole-PUNCH Pinhole Projector in the 
      plaza of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon.
Annular eclipse as viewed through the 3-Hole PUNCH Pinhole Projector.

The 3HPPP is NOT your ordinary pinhole projector nor a simple give-away like a sticker or button, but a powerful learning tool when safely and effectively facilitated (facilitator guide in resources section below).

This 6-minute “how-to” video (link to YouTube) shares what we’ve learned about how to facilitate use of the 3HPPP to excite a lifetime of curiosity and wonder in learners of all ages.

See the Printing Instructions below in both English and Spanish for more information about how you can order 3HPPPs or make your own projectors using our design.

During the Heliophysics Big Year, National and State Parks or Nature & Art Centers in the 4-Corners region are eligible to request a free shipment of projectors in support of their eclipse and other Sun-watching events. Contact punchoutreach@gmail.com.

Front side of pinhole projector
Front side of PUNCH pinhole projector.
Back side of pinhole projector
Back side of PUNCH pinhole projector.

VERSIÓN en ESPAÑOL: frente | reverso. See Spanish printing instructions below (ver instrucciones de impresión en español a continuación)

The PUNCH Outreach team created the 3-Hole PUNCH Pinhole Projector to help explore how and why pinhole projection works to create real images of the Sun.


Printing instructions for the 3-Hole PUNCH Pinhole Projector and how to access the printable file* (PDF, 1.6 MB)
* This is the Mark IV projector, intended for use during the 2024 Eclipse and beyond

Instrucciones para imprimir el Proyector Estenopeico con 3-Agujeros por la Misión PUNCH de NASA y cómo accesar el documento imprimible** (PDF, 1.6 MB)
** Este es el proyector Mark IV, diseñado para usarse durante el eclipse de 2024 y más allá

Facilitator Guide for the 3-Hole PUNCH Pinhole Projector (PDF, 1 MB)

Slides for Display or Presentation (PDF, 2 MB | PPT, 8 MB)

Background & presentation resources for outreach facilitators (PDF and Powerpoint links are in table below):

"[Really] Understanding Pinhole Projection of the Sun"
Section Title of Section & Downloads Description
1 How to Use the 3-Hole PUNCH Pinhole Projector (PDF, 3.4 MB | PPT, 13.6 MB) Introduces the 3-Hole PUNCH Pinhole Projector, demonstrates how to use it both outdoors and indoors, and describes its differences from a pinhole camera/viewer.
2 Observing Pinhole Images of the Sun in Our Everyday Environments (PDF, 6 MB | PPT, 18 MB) Teaches you how to observe the phenomenon of pinhole images of the Sun in our everyday world, both indoors and outdoors.
3 Exploring Pinhole Projection Using Your Own Hands (PDF, 1.4 MB | PPT, 8 MB) Invites you to explore the behavior of pinhole projection by experimenting with your own hands (try both palms up!)
4 Explaining and Understanding How Pinhole Imaging Happens (PDF, 3 MB | PPT, 11 MB) Interactively guides your quest for explanations and deeper understanding of how pinhole imaging happens. After this, you will really understand why small, lens-less holes can create images.
5 APPENDICES A-E: More Insights & Fun Resources (PDF, 4 MB | PPT, 16 MB) Offers more insights & resources (e.g., explaining the relationship between pinhole images and the view through “eclipse” glasses).