Custom Rear View Mirror Attachment
Hindsight is 20/20
This project, as simple as it appears to be, turned out to be a daunting task with plenty of revisions. I was to make it both functional yet compact and discreet, for this was to be used in a showcar. My client explained to me that he likes hiding things in plain sight by adding additional functions to otherwise factory parts. In this case an LCD screen powered by an Arduino was to be attached to the rear view mirror where it would display engine diagnostics with the scroll of his thumb near the center console.
Being a local job, I was able to first meet with my client and obtain the actual rear view mirror which made things much easier. He even let me, take the mirror with me so I took the opportunity to photo scan it into my computer and then using that image as a guide in Inventor while modeling. This proved to help with the basic shape but it had a slight curve that was nearly impossible to measure with just calipers due to the mirrors shape and size. Luckily, he was understanding and predicted that it wouldn't be 100% right off the bat. He anticipated the need for a few prototypes, and he wasn't wrong. Fortunately, it wasn't far off and the plastic was easily shaved down to allow it to sit flush with the bottom of the mirror.
Now that the base was complete, it was decided to scrap the original plan of using a support bar as a means of detachable attachment to the mirror. This narrowed the gap between the mirror and the actual LCD significantly, giving it more of the desired factory look.
The trickiest part of this project had to be finding a way to fit the LCD and a Neopixel in while using the least amount of space. Furthermore this particular mirror had an early auto dimming feature activated by a button towards the middle of where the attachment was to go; it had to remain unobscured. With only a few millimeters of space to work with, I built up a base for the LCD's PCB to attach to while the LCD itself fit firmly up against the rear of the faceplate. The Neopixel light was given two pegs to the left of the LCD's base as means of attachment. Lastly I created a space for a colored filter to sit flush with the front of the faceplate.
At the Finish Line
A final print was ordered and everything fit perfectly into place. Both myself and my client were thrilled.