A while ago I came upon this instructable and was immediately taken with it and wanted to make my own, but couldn't get my hands on 1) One-way plexiglass mirror nor 2) A CNC router. After a little bit of searching around, I came up with a more casual way of making this table with more casual tools and materials.
There are already several projects for infinity tables out there, but mine has a slightly different approach from what I saw before so I figured I'd contribute! This design allows for a customisable size table, with extremely thin borders that enhance greatly the optical illusion by removing a lot of the bulkiness of wood and other materials.
Welcome to this instructable, I hope you enjoy it!
Aaaaaand let's get started.
Step 1: (Casual) Tools and (Common) Materials
The total cost of the project was around $200 including all parts except for the Arduino which I already had. Although I spent a week or so building this, it would really nicely fit into a week-end if you have all the parts ready.
Router with circular attachment (Or a jigsaw and some extra skill)
Scrollsaw (or a small handheld hacksaw)
Dremel or handheld drill with small drilling bits
Knife (Opinels are always a must!)
Pencils, ruler, markers...
One circular mirror, 60cm/1.9ft diameter, from a local furniture store
A square sheet of non colored plexiglass/transparent pvc at least 65*65cm, 4mm thick
Adhesive semi-reflective film, big enough to cover the plexiglass sheet (from Amazon)
A roll of metal lining for windows
USB type B cable for powering the arduino
Adapter from wall outlet to USB (5/5.5V, around 200/300 mA should be enough) for the testing phase
Micro USB cable to recharge the arduino shield
Good quality double-sided tape
From the Adafruit store
- 1 Arduino Uno
The Pocket Arduino for portable projects (Instructable to come)
Step 2: Making the Semi-reflective Mirror
The plexiglass will usually come with protective films on both sides, I advise to leave those on as long as you can for they are really useful. I chose 4 millimetres thickness because it was the thinnest (therefore less expensive one) I could find that offered enough resistance to bending.
Using either a router with a circular cutting guide or a jigsaw, cut out a circle of plexiglass the same size of the mirror you found. I used double-sided tape to stick a piece of wood in the middle of my plexiglass sheet and used this as a support for the router's guide as I wanted to avoid any marking of the surface. Tip : go fast with the router as it can easily eat all the plexiglass you can feed it and going slow will end up in the melting of the plastic chips and could jam you router bit.
Next, you need to apply the semi-reflective film on the circle you just cut out. This is a really tricky step and I have a lot of respect for the people who do it on cars I mean this is an evil version of Saran Wrap it literally sticks to ANYTHING especially itself and except what you are trying to apply it onto.
Here's how I proceeded after wasting a couple meters of it and a lot of frustration.
1) Place 4 pieces of double sided tape on a table such that you can unroll the film on there and it holds in place (Make sure you have the good side of the roll facing up)
2) Remove the transparent film protecting the silver adhesive
3) Remove the film from one side of the plexiglass
4) Spray water everywhere. And I mean everywhere. On the film, on the plexiglass, on the cat, on the ceiling
5) Carefully place the plexiglass on the film
6) Mess up forty times and repeat steps 1 through 5
7) Cut the excess film with a sharp blade and push the air bubbles out gently with a credit card while everything is still wet from your frantic water spraying.
8) Let dry for a day and you're done!
Step 3: Circling With Metal and LEDs
I used the roll of thin metal I had and made a circle that fits closely around the plexiglass. I cut the metal a couple centimeters longer than the exact size and superglued the overlapping sections (sorry I don't have a picture of that!) I let it cure for a couple of hours.
Then, I put sections of double-sided tape on the inside of the metal band to attach the LEDs (a lot of helpful guides about those LED strips can be found on the Adafruit website)
I cut the LED strip to the right size and stuck it inside and then drilled 3 holes in a diagonal line for the ground, signal and positive wires.
Step 4: Duino the Code ?
Yes we do. Here it is.
This code is a mix of diverse codes I found free of copyright on the internet to give LED strips some cool effects and the code from this instructable. You are welcome to use it and modify it!
You will need the Neopixel libraries from Adafruit which can be found here. Place those in your Arduino libraries folder and don't forget to include them at the beginning of your code if you write a new one. Useful tips for the use of strips can be found here.
This code will make your table cycle through a couple of different patterns and then you can make up your own :)
The only thing you need to make sure of is that the number of LEDs in the code matches the number of LEDs on your strip (#define NUMPIXELS n // I had 112 pixels)
Step 5: Supporting Bits and Assembly
I placed the glass mirror on a table and centered the metal circle on it. I then cut tiny pieces of plexiglass from the leftovers of the circle with the scroll saw. They are about a centimetre wide and just the right height so that when resting on them, the plexiglass is flush with the metal band. I made a dozen of those to hold the plexiglass panel firmly and glued them both on the mirror and the metal band but not to the plexiglass so I could still get to the LEDs.
I then placed the plexiglass circle back on the supports and put some weight on it while the glue cured for a couple of hours.
Step 6: Closing It Up and Turning It On!
Now you can remove the second protective film on the plexiglass and put it all together.
I placed it on a round table of the same diameter to make an infinity table but you can hang it on a wall or use it any way you can think of ! Although I don't think it'd stay on well on one of your car's rims. Please try for science and email me a video.
Now that you are done, all you have to do is upload the code to the Arduino and plug it in an outlet! There you have it, a cool table.
Step 7: Going Off the Grid!
Great, now we have a table but we would like to avoid the need for a wall outlet at all times. This is where the Portable battery powered Arduino box comes in place! (Instructable to come soon.) It is a little box that carries an arduino, a battery and battery shield. It connects the Arduino pins to the project via a USB cable so you can use the Portable box for different projects, as a plug and play power source
The only thing to do if you decide to power it with a battery is to diminish the intensity of the LEDs (I never use 100% anyway, it's too bright and will lower the life expectancy of the LED strip.).
Well, this is where this instructable ends! Thanks for reading it until the end if you did, and see you soon :)
I'd like to thank my grandparents who got me some of the materials as a Christmas present and my cousin for the pictures