Before anything else, I would like to say that this Instructable is based on and inspired by carlbass and his Mechanical iris.
Inspired by his work I quickly put a piece of plywood in my desktop laser cutter and set it to work. Minutes later the promise appeared, and within moments I had pieced everything together in a fully functioning mechanical iris. Awesome!
However, after admiring the design I spotted few ways in which I felt it could be improved.
So here it is; my take on the Mechanical iris (v2.0).
Step 1: Improvements
- In the original Mechanical iris there were three layers. I felt this was excessive and so this new design offers only two (plus 1mm for the optional Perspex cover).
- The points at which the 'arms' attached to the blades relied on a shared pin to partially rotate about. This aspect seemed over complicated when the same effect could be achieved with clever cutting. This means that post cutting assembly time is reduced.
- The holes have been changed to fit 6mm dowel instead of 5mm which, for some reason I found stupidly difficult to obtain.
- Drawing pins have been used to cap the wooden dowel pins ensuring that the blades and outer ring do not wonder or come off. This design does not however ensure the arms are kept in place when holding the finished product upside down. This is where the optional 1mm Perspex cover comes in should you feel you need it.
- Although this last part is very crude in its current design, I have included a use for the offcuts. Stuck together they form a raised grip for the back of the iris enabling you to hold and manipulate it more easily. This will prove its worth when you come to 'working' the outer ring in for a couple of minutes.