Designing Your Own Magic Mirror in 3 Steps

If you’re looking for a tech hobby to sink your teeth into over the coming months, then why not consider building your own magic mirror? It might prove to be a bit of a challenge, but that’ll only make it all the more fun and worthwhile of a task to embark on. What’s more, the harder it is, the more satisfying it will feel when you bring your very own piece of interactive technology to life.

If creating this kind of tech has taken your fancy, then you’re going to have to follow some guiltiness on the building process. Go into this kind of design blind, and you’ll be sure to fail at some point, no matter how experienced you may be in the world of tech.

Here are three steps you must follow when you decide to design your own magic mirror:

Source the right tools and equipment

When it comes to this particular task, the tools that you equip yourself with and the equipment that you make use of will either make you or break you. Quite simply, if you don’t source the exact components you need to bring your magic mirror to life, your venture won’t even get off the ground.

Here are some of the tools and pieces of equipment you need:

  • Computer monitor
  • Mouse (of the technological kind!)
  • Keyboard
  • Raspberry PI (incredibly important piece of tech, don’t forget it!)
  • USB power cord
  • SD-card (preferably 8GB)
  • HDMI-to-VGA adapter
  • And last but not least, a basic mirror

With all of these tools and equipment at hand at all times, you will set yourself up perfectly when it comes to the task of building a magic mirror.

Strategize your PCB layout

In order to bring your magic mirror life, you’re going to have to get to grips with circuitboard design. To do this, first and foremost, you have to strategize your PCB layout. If you’ve got no clue whatsoever where to start in this instance, then you might want to take inspiration from Altium’s strategy behind PCB layout. This includes:

  • Deciding between through-hole or SMT
  • Choosing the annular ring that corresponds with your drill diameter
  • Working out your aspect ratio plating
  • Opting for a size of necking trace that suits you
  • Deciding on how you wish to connect your pads to your traces

Install your Raspberry PI

As stated, your Raspberry PI is an incredibly important piece of tech, so make sure you don’t forget to source it in the first place. Once sourced, you have to get to work right away with regards to installing it. In this instance, it’s important to remember that one cord needs to be pulled through the bottom side of the mirror case. Remembering this small yet all-important detail will stop your magic mirror from being overloaded with data and, subsequently, burning out after only a short time in operation.

When you get stuck into the task of designing your own magic mirror, just remember all of the advice laid out above. That could be the difference between you creating a dud piece of tech, and a fully-functioning one.