SOLIDWORKS Time-Lapse Tutorial: Infinity Mirror

Optical illusions are designed to trick your mind to believing something is there that isn’t really there. Believe it or not, most optical illusions are very simple to achieve. Today we will show you how to make your own simple, but effective, illusion in SOLIDWORKS called the infinity mirror. This illusion is used in a lot of horror houses or themed walking tours, as well as creating the illusion of long corridors in older film sets.

Infinity mirror illusions

To create this illusion we need a few things. First we need a light source, for this we used a simple battery powered LED strip. The second thing we need is a mirror, as well as a one way mirror.

How a one way mirror works is one side is not reflective and you are able to see through it like a window. The other side is like a traditional mirror, and one can see there reflection. This can be created with a reflective window tint, which is the same thing used on cars. We got two panels of glass the same size and used the reflective tint to make the mirrors we need.

To make an infinity mirror work, we put the light source between the mirror and the reflective side of the one way mirror. This then makes the light bounce repeatedly between the two reflective mirrors giving the illusion of a long tunnel. When the light is turned off, it looks like a normal mirror.

So now that we have all the supplies needed, let’s use SOLIDWORKS to build a frame to house the LEDs and the mirrors and a backing box to hold it all in place.

The design is very simple. We started by creating  the glass to use as reference we then drew a profile of the frame on the top plane which will fit the two panels of glass and the LED strip. We then swept this half way around the glass panel then mirrored it around itself to make the other side of the frame.

Now that was easy! Let’s now build the backing battery box. We just made a simple box, then cut out the profile of the battery box and wiring. We then capped it off and made a sweet little lid to keep it all neat and tidy

Next we 3D printed our design using Pro PLA. Once all the parts printed its was time to assemble it!

SOLIDWORKS Time-Lapse Tutorial: Infinity Mirror - 3D Printing
To start the assembly, we need to prepare the glass. We used a basic 3mm pane glass and a 3M reflective mirror tint and put it on each panel. To do this, we cleaned the glass with a soapy spray. Once the glass was cleaned of any debris and oil marks, we sprayed it again with the soapy water. We left this second soapy spray on and placed the tint vinyl on the glass. This allows you to place the tint on the glass where you want it, without it sticking to the surface. We also made sure we left an overhang to trim off later.

Once we were happy with the placement, we used a card to squeeze out the soap from under the vinyl. This sticks it down in place. We let it dry for around 10 minutes. We then used a sharp knife to trim the edge of the vinyl to be flush with the edge of the glass.

Now let us put it all together; we slid the glass into the frame and placed the LED lights in the groove, pulled the wires through and connected it all up. And great success! It works like a dream.

You can see how the illusion makes the impression that the box is deeper than it already is. This is the beauty of this illusion and it can be developed into so many different styles.

SOLIDWORKS Time-Lapse Tutorial: Infinity Mirror

This project is simple to do and easy to complete on a budget. This project also leaves a lot of room for you add new features and exciting things or even use interesting shapes. We hope you take this project as inspiration for some really cool ideas!

As always, thanks for reading! If you liked this blog, be sure to check out our YouTube playlist for more SOLIDWORKS Time-Lapse tutorials!

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.