Mechanical Iris Will Make You Want a Laser Cutter Even More

Mechanical irises are very intricately designed mechanisms that are mesmerizing to see in action — and if you have a laser cutter, you could make one in less than 10 minutes.

Our “Teacher of Science”, Instructables’ user [NTT] has revised a previous Instructables design on a mechanical iris to improve it. The original design used three layers of components and dowel pins for every joint. What [NTT] has done is reduced this to two layers, and eliminated half of the pins required by designing clever circular cutouts. The result is a very slick mechanical iris that is very easy and quick to build — provided you have the tools.

Stick around to see the original iris open and close — unfortunately there’s no video of the new design — but we think you can imagine the differences.

Or alternatively you could 3D print a version of it!

No laser cutter, or 3D printer? We feel your pain. Luckily there is also a cardboard version of it you can make without any fancy tools!

35 thoughts on “Mechanical Iris Will Make You Want a Laser Cutter Even More

          1. Indeed it is. But better than that, it’s not just “supposed to be” a picture of the inside of a gun barrel, it actually *is* a photograph of the inside of a gun barrel, taken by a custom pinhole camera. (Or at least it was before they started replacing it with drawings and CG. Bleh.)

          1. Your not thinking on a geologic scale, Hawaii will eventually drift and make contact with other land or vise verse, or the water level will drop, or freeze. etc. :)

  1. I did one of these a while back when gizmofo reposted it and i laser cut it (its def not 10 minutes BTW unless you have an expensive one) and i posted a video of it

    The one i got was based off a flawed design that doesn’t fully close and it always bugged me and i wanted to go back and recut it. maybe i should do that….

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