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!