Mechanical Iris Card - Improved!




About: YuKonstruct is a non-profit society which provides an enthusiastic community of makers and entrepreneurs affordable access to space, equipment and knowledge. This community serves to embrace the individual a...

Modmischief created this improved version of the mechanical iris greeting card for YuKonstruct's Holiday Card Build Night.

This new design solves the issue of the shutter pieces catching on the ends of the brads and simplifies the card construction by making the base card just one piece of cardstock.

YuKonstruct is the first makerspace in Canada's north. Our mission is to provide access to shared space, quality tools, available expertise, and a collaborative environment to help makers build anything!

This card is a great use of our Epilog laser cutter, but with a bit of patience and a steady hand, you can also make it at home.

For this card you'll need:

  • the template provided with this instructable
  • one letter sized sheet of cardstock
  • 10 mini brads
  • a way to cut the cardstock: X-acto knife, laser cutter or digital cutting machine

You may also want markers, paint, glitter, stickers or other materials to decorate your finished card.

Step 1: Cut It Out

Carefully cut out all the pieces. This step is much easier with the help of a laser cutter, but it can be done with an X-acto knife and a bit of patience.

When you're done you should have the following pieces:

  • 1 card base
  • 1 ring
  • 5 shutter pieces

Step 2: Assemble the Card

Connect the shutter pieces to the card base with 5 mini brads, using the inner ring of holes.

Add the ring to the front of the card and put another 5 mini brads through the holes to connect it to the shutter pieces.

Fold the card base along the perforated line.

Step 3: Decorate

Decorate the card as desired. Include a photo, drawing or other surprise behind the open iris.

Some ideas to try:

  • Camera
  • Porthole on a submarine
  • Spaceship airlock
  • Aperture Science experiment

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14 Discussions


4 years ago

Made it! It was a big hit!
Used it as a Christmas Card, with several photos of the Seattle skyline stacked up inside. As my wife pulled on the tabs attached to each photo, a new scene was in the iris, to show her the upcoming trip that was her gift.
Thanks for the I'ble!

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

hello, I am actually a little bit confused as to how multiple pictures were coming up by pulling tabs.. can u pls explain or share ur card pictures


4 years ago on Introduction

Very cool. This looks like a great first project for the laser cutter I now have access to.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

It is a greeting card. It can be decorated to be used for Christmas, birthdays,weddings, thank yous, get well wishes or any other occasion. Some examples of different decorated versions are on the previous version's instructable:


4 years ago on Introduction

I like it! shall give it a go... though I rarely remember to post results of attempts lol Adding the CAD was a nice touch - So I may put it into Creo 3D just for my own fun and see how well it scales.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Actually, aperture just means an opening, so you are not wrong, but in a camera, this device would usually be called an iris diaphragm.

The iris is the whole device where the aperture would be the amount of light (or size) that is let through in the case of a camera.


4 years ago on Introduction

if you had a way to print all your needed information within the center, and make this all small enough then this would be a very memorable business card design.


Great idea for a card! My grandad will love this,just imagining the round shape as a bauble ;)


4 years ago on Introduction

It looks very nice. Perhaps it is not very easy to implement