The project itself has been running for a couple of months now, but that's only becausde I keep on getting sidetracked. It was when I started thinking about my new BADASS Display project earlier this week that I told myself I really had to finish the mirror first, so I sprang into action.
Total construction time was probably 8 hours or so -- the real fun will come with the programming of the special effects thsi coming weekend LOL.
One additional think to remember is that any time I put into one "front-end" project saves loads of time in future "downstream" projects. So all of the experiance I gained programming my 4x4x4 LED cube and learning the Arduino is paying dividends with this infinity mirror project.
Similarly, all the experiance I'm gaining with the NeoPixels in this Infinity Mirror project -- ESPECIALLY taking ESD precautions -- will pay off handsomely in my BADASS Display and Inamorata Prognostication Engine projects.
That's a great effect. Until you look closely at some of the photos, it's hard to believe that there's no great depth to the strucure, but then that's the raison d'etre of the infinity mirror. I'm not sure that I wouldn't have changed the colour at a faster rate, but then I'm impatient.
I enjoyed your reflection taking the movie as well.
@Aubrey: I'm not sure that I wouldn't have changed the colour at a faster rate, but then I'm impatient.
LOL Me too. This is just the first-pass generic test pattern I always use to make sure all the LEDs work and that they can display all the colors (I based it on an example Sketch provided by the guys and gals at Adafruit -- I LOVE the way they get you up and running so quickly).
@Antedeluvian: You've got me thinking about using the adafruit strips for my street number (remember the gadget smackdown).
You could do some amazing stuff -- have them "drawing" the numbers -- then flashing them -- then doing this rainbow effect -- also it would ease you into using the Arduino... if you are seriously interested email me and I'll point you at the bits and pieces you'll need.
@Duane: ...but your version is much, much more impressive.
Why, thank you Duane for your kind words. I must admit that I would be tempted to start work on a more elaborate infinity mirror if I didn't already have two mega-cool projects on the go -- my ongoing Inamorata Prognostication Engine project and my new BADASS Display project -- both of which arte powered by Arduinos and both of which boast a cornucopia of NeoPixels.
Way cool Max, reminds me of when I build my first Disco lights years ago. The only thing that is missing is a video of your happy dance..... :-)
Ref your comments on the Badass display. I thought - why not combine the two? Of course with this you can't control how many levels of reflection you get...or can you? If you amplitude modulate each led in the strip according to the level of sound at a particular frequency, I think the number of levels of reflection would appear to change - more for a bright led and less for a dim led? I'm sure you could do some experiments just driving the LEDs at different levels to verify this, then if it works, design the sound interface and FFT to drive them. I think that would be VERY cool???
@David: Ref your comments on the Badass display. I thought - why not combine the two?
O M G !!!
That is a REALLY good idea!!!
I probably won't do that for the first pass, because I already have a "vision" in mind (see my "BADASS Display Part 2" column tomorrow) ... but the real work is going to be in the electronics and the algorithms -- the LEDs are just something that go on the front -- so it would be really (well, relatively) easy to swap the display portion later ...
D. Ashton...by appointment to HM the Queen....purveyor of really good ideas....:-)
(American readers: if you don't understand the above, don't worry about it...insider Brit joke based on HP Sauce bottles. What - you don't know what HP Sauce is???)
Based on what you have said about the Arduino driving NeoPixels, it should not be difficult to drive your LEDs with a 5% increase in brightness as you go round - this would give you a pretty good idea whether this would work or not and what sort of effect it will give you....
@Ost0: Im sure you can get a lot more led strips for the bucks by looking at ebay.
I'm not sure if you can get exactly the same kind -- and the library and examples provided by Adafruit are really, really good. There's no point in having cheaper LEDs if you can't get them to do what you want them to LOL
@ost0: I wonder how this would look with some kind of piezo element applying pressure to [one of] the mirrors [corners] ;) I suspect it could add a dimension [control] to the coolness.
That's a very interesting idea -- maybe take it one further and have a small servo in each of the four corners behind the main mirror. Someone else suggested mounting the LED strips in a sport of spiral .. there are so many things you could experiment with here...
The depth of LEDs only seems to extend out to be about 12 layers. I wonder what would be the affect of using some higher quality optical-grade mirrors that may be able to appropriate as remnants from the likes of ThorLabs, et al! The other question is whether there would be any benefits to putting mirrors on all 4 sides; with drilled holes which allow the LEDs to be affixed to the back side of the mirrors and piercing thru the perforations. Or, instead, using one-way (partial) mirrors instead of drilled mirrors on the 4 sides of the cube and then jacking up the lumens on the LEDs! Maybe even putting one of those tiny action cameras (e.g. GoPro) on the inside of the cube (or via a prism) would provide more depth.
I don't want to get suckered into this project of yours. You already got me thinking what would happen if you took a cube with mirrors on all inside walls and put a single omni directional LED in the center but then I remembered about that new trick question on twitter: It was something about what if a tree fell in the forest and nobody was there to hear it... It turned out that my answer was greater than 144 characters, so they banned me for life...
I may have taken your bait if you had told me that you were using CREE LEDs but...
So that we turn back to topic of technology; here are some factoids about CREE:
Cree was formed/incorporated in 1987 by researchers from North Carolina State University. Cree went public on February 9, 1993 at a split-adjusted price of about $1.03. They have over 260 seminal patents and their stock is currently trading at around $55.
When I finish something, I'll call Joseph over to take a look, and he will try to appear interested and pat me on the shoulder and say "That's very nice, Dad," and then he'll return to texting his friends. Gina is much the same.
Hey Max. Hilarious, because this rings SO TRUE. In my case, it would be my daughter and wife. But WE know it's cool, right?
That's why I love going to conferences like EE Live! I can chat with other people who realize just how cool this all is. Most folks simply don't realize just how amazing today's electronics components and systems really are.
I just thought of myself and Adam Taylor (from the UK) and Javi (from Spain) and Clarke Monroe when we were having a few beers in the evenings at EE Live! last week and we were chatting about our projects. To some one sirtting across the bar, it woudl have looked like we were telling fishing stories of "the one that got away" LOL
Too Right! there are so many things I would like to do or try, and pesky things like work and mowing the lawn get in the way.....
Aaah, yes, mowing the lawn. Not to stray too far off topic, David, but for me this subject is a little like that Thanksgiving dinner of a couple of years ago.
It was 8 years ago now, how time flies, that on the very last mowing stretch, on the very last mowing day of the season, just as I had stopped the mower and was about to clean it before putting it away, a wheel fell off. The mower was old enough, and the little axle thing no longer available, that this meant buying a new mower next season.
But the timing was just too perfect. It had to be divinely inspired. So when the next February came, and I had to begin thinking about a new mower, I made one of those landmark decisions. It was Friday night at dinner. I announced to wife and brother that we were going to get a lawn service. Can't let such divine inspiration go to waste, right? (I mean, imagine if the wheel had fallen off just a week or two sooner. No doubt, I would have rushed out to get a new mower, just to get the job finished. Right?)
Best decision I ever made. Still today, I get this guilty pleasure every Saturday afternoon. Now, when I hear a lawn mower in the background, I have the supreme luxury of thinking about it as one of those "lazy summer afternoon sounds."
Hello Bert. You're a lucky man. We occasionally get someone in to do the lawn but we can't afford to do it all the time. Plus, I need the exercise... If I sat in my workshop doing fun stuff all day I'd be even fatter than I am.....
Talking of divinely inspired providence..... My car starter motor failed (permanently...) at 4.30 PM one Christmas eve. I'd love to say I now have a chauffeur as a result, but alas I am still driving myself.... :-)