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Uwe Oehler has written a simple program that prints out fold-up paper templates for the conic sections that make up the reflective surface of a Fresnel mirror. Cut the templates out of cardboard, cover the cardboard with aluminum tape, fold up the sections, and apply them to a flat backing. Even the relatively simple, five ring, 59% coverage reflector shown in the video will burn holes in construction paper under modest sunlight. [via Hack a Day]

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Making a flat parabolic mirror

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • Michael Anderson

    The “Uwe Oehler” link is broken. Should be http://www.dr-iguana.com/prj_flatpackmirror/

    • http://smragan.com Sean Michael Ragan

      Thanks, and sorry.  Should be fixed now!