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How to make Mechanical Iris Diapraghms?

Started by heavyporker, May 02, 2007, 12:09:39 PM

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Quote from: Robo Von Bismark on September 22, 2010, 10:09:36 PM
Quote from: Spiritus on September 22, 2010, 10:01:54 AM
uhuhu, after i reinvent the wheel I find this thread with google  ::)

my 2 cents design in corel draw: I need an iris with an aperture of 100mm so yesterday I design my own but mabye some one else need it too.

also in pdf format, its al curves so can be inported in any vector program

That looks like a 20 blade design I saw on the web.

Movement is similar to the "Stargate" iris:

I drew up a basic CAD drawing but never made it

You dont happen to have the design for the 24 bladed iris would you?
possibly in a pdf you could send?


I have designed a web-based tool for designing irises:

Hope it's of some use to you guys.
Design your iris diaphragm here:


Holy thread necromancy! Lets revive this thread again to say "I made one of these things!"

The "naked" iris

And with the nicely polished cover:

It works really well, quite pleased!
To Steampunk or not to Steampunk, that's the question...


Is that all hand made Wirecase? Looks great!
Design your iris diaphragm here:


Yep, handmade. It's sheet brass, a few pieces of 3 cm brass pipe and brass nails for the pivot points.
To Steampunk or not to Steampunk, that's the question...


Very nice.  Appropriate to bring the thread back from the dead.


Hello forum! Here's my attempt at a mechanical iris:

9 leaves, all cut from .025 brass shim, brass rings cut from .5 sheet. Pins are brass tacks brazed onto the leaves with tin solder. Housing ring is the band from a mason jar lid. There is a small convex mirror mounted on the inside for effect. Actuator (cam ring) is a little rough looking, but the opening and closing action is pretty smooth.

I would love some advice on fabricating my next cam ring. This one is simply the lid from the mason jar with slots cut into it. The whole thing is a little jury rigged, but looked fine once I slapped on a brass backing plate. Wouldn't mind if the inside looked as pretty as the outside. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Drew P

And, this, too, is a nice work!
I feel the roughness goes very well with the mirror.

The only tip I may have is to carefully file all your edges to make them into a smoother curved shape, but then that would ruin the roughness effect.
Never ask 'Why?'
Always ask 'Why not!?'


I'm starting to offer small-quantity, iris diaphragm manufacturing. If anyone needs any iris parts made for their projects, feel free to contact me:
Design your iris diaphragm here:


We're now selling a steampunk inspired iris diaphragm that fits your typical welding goggles:

As always, reach out if you have any mechanical iris design questions, or need something custom made.

Design your iris diaphragm here:


I'm just wondering if anyone has actually tried to build this iris diaphragm from the NASA technical paper. If you read the paper, the idea is ingenious. There are five blades in front, and five blades behind, (there are, in fact, ten blades) and closure is complete, as is required for apertures in space. However, I've been trying to adapt this design to build in wood, and it is difficult to determine the source of the curves in the blades. Similarly, it is difficult to design, without these curves, an aperture that works, in wood. If anyone has similar drawings for this aperture that they were able to make work, I would be most appreciative. I'm attempting to design a ten bladed aperture, using a similar model of five blades behind and in front (to reduce friction) and my overall size is 24", or 609.6mm. I'm thinking that a practical sized full opening (maximum aperture) using this sliding ring mechanism would be about 14", or 355.6mm, to allow enough space for the blades to exit. The other advantage of this design that I like much better than many of the other sliding blade options is that very few degrees of turn are required on the actuating ring in order for complete opening or closure. The reduced friction by having less (or ideally no) overlap on the blades is also something I'd like to achieve.

I'm interested to hear others thoughts.


Quote from: Professor Fzz on May 02, 2007, 03:30:17 PM
Oh, I just love mechanical irises.  For a door though, you'd probably need one that could close completely - I don't think the design in that figure can close completely.  Here's a slightly different design (from this article) that can close completely.  The figure only shows five petals, but you obviously need ten.

I've been thinking for a while of making shutters for my study using an iris design - one of these days...

- Fzz