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.

11 thoughts on “Paper Mechanical Iris

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

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