The CNC bubble iris makes big soap bubbles in a new way, by weaving soapy strings together and apart with a motorized iris. It was designed to allow large soap bubbles to be made automatically with great repeatability, opening up exciting new possibilities for art, science, and engineering with on-demand soap bubbles of controlled size and timing.
People respond to giant bubbles in wonderful ways. Swirling with colors, shiny and floating, bubbles reveal a microcosm of the surrounding world reflected on their surfaces. When larger bubbles fold and twist, buffeted by eddies, they distort in phenomenally interesting ways too, and can be thought of as airborn, irridescent, morphing fun-house mirrors. People are delighted and inspired by giant bubbles like nothing else. As light and insubstantial as they may be, materially, large soap bubbles carry an awesome payload of inspiration, beauty, and wonder.
In the following instructable, I share my experiences proceeding from the initial inspiration of this invention through a handful of early prototypes and mechanisms, culminating in the version shown here.
You might be wondering why I built such elaborate apparatus, when a rope-loop held up with dowels can make big bubbles much more simply? The construction of this instrument is part of several ambitious projects currently in progress, which uniquely benefit from the consistency, automation, or liquid handling of this instrument.