Introduction: Design & Print a 3D Printed Video Call Mirror Tool

Share your writing, drawings, and projects with your friends, students, or teachers. Design this video call mirror tool in Tinkercad, 3-D print it, cut and stick on adhesive mirror. Share your writing, drawings, and projects with your friends, students, or teacher. The design requires no other hardware and is adjustable.

This design was inspired by Amos Lightnin's project Sideview Mirror for Video Calls.

Let me know what you think and what changes you make in the comments!

Supplies

For this project you will need:

Step 1: ​Create a Flat Surface for the Mirror

Login or create a Tinkercad account. If you wish to skip the 3-D design steps, just download the .STL files, print them, then skip to the assembly step.

Click the Create the New Design button. Drag the box shape from the basics shape menu. Resize the box to a 2 mm height, 60 mm width and 44 mm depth.

Step 2: Make Space for the Pivot Points!

In this step we will cut away some of the rectangular surface to make room for some pivot points on the flat surface on which the mirror will rest. Drag the box hole shape to the workplane and resize it to a 15mm width, and 4mm depth. Align the shape on the left corner of the box on the 60mm side. Make a copy of the hole shape and align the copy on the right side of the corner.

Select all the shapes on the work plane, the click the align tool. Align the box hole shapes on front right and left corners of the 60 mm edge of the box. Select all the shapes and press the group tool.

Step 3: Create Pivot Points

Click and drag the cylinder shape to the workplane. Adjust the sides slider to 64. Change the diameter of the cylinder to 4 mm and the height of 30 mm. Rotate the cylinder 90° so it is parallel to the workplane. Move the cylinder into position so that it rests on the workplane and center it on the edge of the rectangle.

Next we will create a small pivot point which will lock the mirror surface in place and allow it to adjust up and down. Drag a half sphere to the workplane and adjust the size to 2 mm width and depth, with a height of .5 mm. Rotate the shape 90° and use the alignment tool to center it on the flat left side of the cylinder You may need to adjust the snap grid tool to accurately place the half sphere. Repeat the process for the other side by making a copy of the shape and rotating it 180°. Check the alignment and make sure that both half spheres are in the center of the ends of the cylinder ant that they touch the surface of the cylinder tops. Drag and select all the shapes in and press the group button.

Step 4: Creating a Mounting Bracket for Your Laptop

Measure the screen thickness of your laptop near the webcam. Our Acer Chromebook and Dell laptop measured about 7 mm, while our Macbook Air was about 4 mm in width. This measurement will determine how large of a gap you will need between your bracket arms.

To calculate the total depth of your bracket you will need to add 4 mm to the thickness measurement of your laptop screen. For this example we are going to use the measurement from our Chromebook of 7 mm and add 4 to it for a total bracket depth of 11 mm.

Drag a box shape onto the workplane and resize it to a 2 mm height, 60 mm width, and 11 mm depth. Next drag another box onto the workplane and resize it to a 15 mm height, 15 mm width and 2 mm depth. Raise the shape off the workplane 2 mm and align it in the corner of the rectangle so that it is even with the edge. Make 3 additional copies and align them on each of the remaining corners.

Step 5: Creating a Socket

In this part of the project we will create a socket to hold the flat mirror surface in place and later allow it to move up and down. Drag a box shape in front of the bracket and resize it to a 4 mm height, 15 mm width, and a 4 mm depth. Position the box on the front left edge of the bracket. Place a cylinder shape on the workplane and adjust the sides to 64 and the diameter of 4 mm and the height to 15 mm. Rotate the cylinder 90 and lower it to the workplane. Align the center of the cylinder with the edge of the box you just placed. Once in position, select both shapes and make a copy of them and position them on the right side.

The last thing to do is place a hole in the center of the cylinders we just placed on the bracket. Drag the cylinder hole to the workplane and adjust the sides to 64 the diameter to 2 mm and the height to 70 mm. The extra length will make it easier to place. Rotate the cylinder hole 90° and lower it to the workplane. Position near the cylinders we just placed on the end. Select the cylinder hole and one of the cylinders on the bracket. Use the align tool to center the hole in both cylinders. Check to see that the hole goes through both sides. Drag and select all the shapes in the bracket and click group.

Step 6: Print, ​Assemble, and Fit Check

With your 3-D design complete in Tinkercad, click the export button and choose the file type that best suites your 3-D printer. We used a .STL for this print and a PLA filament in a Dremel 3D40 printer. No raft or supports are needed and the layer height was set to .2 mm with an infill density of 15%.

Clean up any rough or sharp edges before placing the bracket onto your device. Wait to fully assemble both pieces together until you test your bracket fit. Test your bracket on your laptop then make adjustments to your design and reprint if necessary. (Tinkercad STL File here, you can tinker and adjust this too.)

If your bracket fits your are ready to assemble the two pieces together. The fit of the two pieces is meant to be tight to provide tension and keep the mirror in place without the addition of screws or a pin. You will notice that the bracket is thin enough to flex some. Place the bracket with the arms facing up on the edge of a table. Then gently bend it back so that you can pop the surface for the mirror into place. This may take a couple of attempts. If you find it impossible to pop the pivot points into place, use a fine grit sand paper to to remove some of the inside material on the bracket hinge.

Use a ruler to measure out a 40 mm x 60 mm rectangle on the mirror sticker. Use a pair of scissors or a cutting board to cut the mirror to the correct size.

Place the assembly down on a table with the bracket feet facing up. Remove the adhesive backing from the mirror and stick it to the flat mirror surface. Press down firmly, then remove the protective covering from the mirror surface.

Step 7: Placement and Video Conferencing

Push the the bracket onto the top of the laptop and place it so the webcam is centered between the bracket arms. Join your web conference.

In Zoom to flip the image you will need to change the settings of your camera by clicking on the right arrow and selecting mirror my video.

Step 8: Print Faster and Save Material

In order to reduce print time you can add some holes to the flat surface for the mirror. Another option is to reduce the height of the bracket arms facing the back of your computer. We found that a height of 5mm was enough to provide just enough stability.

Runner Up in the
Remix Contest