Paper Mechanical Iris

This functioning mechanical irs is made from paper templates, foam core poster board, old credit / gift / etc cards, paper clips and masking tape. First, patterns are designed and multiples are printed and laid out to make the 10 parts needed. Two rings are cut out of foam board and a third ring is cut into wedges to form a cam mechanism on top of one of the other two rings.

Twelve shutters are then cut from the credit cards, and small pieces of paper clip are glued to each end and both sides. One side rides the cam mechanism the other side is punched through the final ring.

We found it to be an interesting project that should be pretty easy for just about anyone to replicate (now that its all figured out for us), and besides, you never know when you might stumble across a small box of hotel key’s with a defunct pizza parlor’s advertisement on the back.


  1. CosmicVoyager says:

    “you never know when you might stumble across a small box of hotel key’s with a defunct pizza parlor’s advertisement on the back.”


  2. Breach says:

    It’s actually a “Plastic Mechanical Iris”. The iris is made of plastic cards (credit, gift, etc). The paper was only used as a template for cutting the plastic to the proper shape.

  3. fartface says:

    Where can I find paper credit cards?

  4. NoBrainNeeded says:

    Awesome, this is much needed for my Stargate’s security.

  5. Will says:

    he’s referring to the RFID style hotel keys, they credit-card sized plastic ones, talking about using them for this project

  6. Erik Johnson says:

    @fartface you could probably recode transit tickets, e.g. BART here in SF, CA’s tickets are CC-sized and the magstrip is in the same location

  7. andrew says:

    Hmm.. it’s not very clear how it work. I assumed you have to twist it to open and close the iris but the instructables say that the paperclips go all the way through, which would make twisting impossible. How does it work?

  8. r_d says:

    WTB tiny paper stargate.

  9. doubleup says:

    That project stinks. I’m going to try and make a better one.

    Here’s an animated GIF on wikipedia showing how it should work.

  10. Geisst says:

    I´ve build some dieselpunk style goggles some time ago. It´s mechanism is working slightly different and got only 5 blades (i´m lazy!), but it´s easy to rebuild. The blades are made from a tin can, with pieces of a paperclip solded onto. The framing is made from some scrap metal.

    Here is a picture of the parts:

  11. no_light says:

    this is actually from instructables . com
    ( )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,449 other followers