Geodesic Infinity Mirror

2018
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I originally was inspired by infinity mirrors. Basically when you have parallel mirrors they “create a series of smaller and smaller reflections that appear to infinity.” The material of one-way mirrors allow for light to bounce off and and reflect onto the mirrors but the properties of the one-way mirror allow one to see through. Basically the brightest light reflects and the darker area is see-through.

intererior with light image

Prototype

Of course every project starts off with a google search. Since I know little about math or architecture I searched how to make a geodesic dome. This returned with hundreds of results. I found this nifty website that instructs you how to build a geodesic dome out of paper. They even provide a template for you to print out and cut.

image of paper template

Because I wanted to make a miniature scale dome, one that is portable to constitute a flashlight, I used the template to create my own scaled down version where all the of pieces fit on a single sheet of paper. This also serves to reduce the amount of material I would later need. I also decided that making a paper version would be the best way to prototype if making a dome was even feasible given my lack of mathematical or structural knowledge.

From the website I learned that I essentially would need

  • 5 half hexagons
  • 5 hexagons
  • 6 pentagons

image of precut template

image of completed pieces

images of hotgluing pieces

I used hot glue to glue them together. It was a mess

finished paper model

Completed paper dome

Acrylic

After a kind of successful prototype I was ready to see it through with the mirror. I purchased a 2 way mirror acrylic sheet and used a laser cutter to cut out my template. I talked to some of my classmates about my worries of assembling the small pieces. The hotglue was disastrous the night before. They gave me the hot tip about acrylic cement so I got some of that to bond the acrylic. For the gluing process I used the paper template as a guide for when I was placing the acrylic. Little by little I got it done though.

https://sandbox.markofthelam.com/img/geodesic/lasercutting.jpg

acrylic cement

acrylic cement

acrylic cement

acrylic cement

acrylic cement

Next I wired up a simple switch for my led which would make my infinity geodesic dome mirror a flashlight.

I added the light and got a really cool effect. To complete an infinity mirror you have to be sure to include a mirror bottom to reflect the light.

intererior with light image

Final

What it looks like with the lights off:

List of Tools

Tools:

  • Lasercutter
  • elbowgrease

Materials:

  • led
  • wires
  • switch
  • 9v battery
  • 12x12 acrylic sheet
  • acrylic cement

Conclusion

Despite some errors from when I was gluing which left gaps in between some panels, I was happy with my result. Halfway through gluing I was worried that I would not be able to pull it off at all.

From this project I learned that I’m more of a sculptor than an architect. Back in artschool I worked mostly in assemblage and material experiments and I was always able to blame poor craftsmanship as an aesthetic choice. While it is… in a more design project I think craftsmanship is important and very hard.

However I learned some strong lessons for the next time I make this project. First, I would make the prototype with stiffer material. Especially since I ended up using it to guide my placement while I bonded the acrylic.

More importantly I realized that it would have been much easier to create the structure first then add the acrylic panels. That way it more precise. Overall, I am happy with how it came out. :100: