” A ‘Magic MIrror’ is a project where a 2 way mirror is placed over a screen of some sort. Where the screen shows black pixels, the mirror is reflective. Where the screen shows white or lighter pixels, they shine through. This creates an effect of being able to have digital text, icons, or even images show through a mirror, while still maintaining the reflectivity. The third picture above should show what that can look like.
The youtube video shows the assembly end to end, and has a demo at the end showing what the finished project looks like. I wanted to take time to write down the steps here, as I enjoy the instructable community, and I wanted a place to make notes about things like the software configuration, and answer questions.
I’ve seen a ton of magic mirror projects and have always wanted to build one. I started to build one recently as a gift, and had no idea how much the 2 way mirror portions can cost! After spending $75.00 (USD) on a mirror alone, I realized that the project was going to go well out of our ‘friend gift budget’ and I had to rethink my strategy. After discovering N-O-D-E’s channel on youtube, he had a concept of a small pyramid case. I immediately began to run with that concept, experimenting with what raspberry pi’s I could fit in, how to easily create the case, and how to get the software running.
In the end I chose to 3D print the case. I designed the case in tinkercad. It’s two simple pieces that easily snap together. The Mirror is a 4.5” mirror that is simply glued (glue gun) onto the frame. The main computer is a Raspberry pi zero with an 8 Gig micro SD card, and the screen is a 3.5” screen from Kuman that had an HDMI port already on it. Honestly 75% of this project was the tinkercad design for the case, and figuring out a screen that would fit, could be powered easily off a single USB cable, and customizing the software.
Here’s the cost of the parts to give you a rundown. It’s under 60 dollars if you have a 3D printer…otherwise you’ll want to either hire out the 3D print, or possibly build a wooden pyramid frame (I ALMOST went that route, and may in a future instructable, as I think a stained oak case could look really cool for this :) )
Raspberry pi Zero W - $10.00 - Adafruit.com - Limit one per order
8Gig Micro SD Card - $4.00 - Amazon.com
Kuman 3.5” TFT Screen - $29.99 - Amazon.com - HDMI Version
SN-Riggor USB Cable (Optional, but adds some flair) - 4 for 16.00 ($4.00 each) Amazon.com
2 Way mirror - 115mm Square - $5.00 from Tap Plastics (I brought the 3D printed case into a store and had them cut it to match)
3D filament - About 2 bucks worth
Mini-HDMI -> HDMI adapter - 2 for $6.00 (Only need one): Amazon.com
In the end I had some of the adapters already, but you should be able to get these for the above prices or better, and in the end be under $60.00. Since this was about how much we’d spend if we got each other an Xbox or PS4 game, this fit into our ‘friend budget’.
Ok, enough of an intro, let’s learn how to build it!”