Stunning Mechanical Iris – Take a Peep

mechanical iris half

Shopbot CNC Robot used to create steampunk irising peephole, wins Makerfaire Editor’s Choice

mechanical iris half

Emerging from the Shopbot forums and recently featured on Make: Online comes this brilliantly executed mechanical iris. Constructed from brass and wood, the polished outcome we see here was the result of a series of trials made possible by the versatile Shopbot CNC router.

The development of this peephole, which will apparently one day be fixed to a nautical-themed door, can be traced through the forum thread started by the guy behind the iris, Chris Schaie.

mechanical iris sequence

If you look closely you can see that the large brass ring in the final version is constructed from five segments. Clever techniques like this help to save on material costs and manufacturing efficiency. You’ll find many more tips and tricks for all manner of making scenarios in the Ponoko guides and FAQs.

Chris’ efforts have spawned a string of followup projects such as the acrylic prototype in this video, but perhaps the most engaging story comes from the guy who got so excited after reading a post about the iris on boingboing  that he whipped up a cardboard version… using flower pots for circle templates.

cardboard iris

Outcomes with mechanical or kinetic elements have a charm all of their own, and this one was a well deserved recipient of the coveted Editor’s Blue Ribbon at Maker Faire 2010. Would you make an iris out of brass, like Chris did? Maybe the nautical steampunk theme doesn’t float your boat… luckily there is so much scope in the Ponoko materials library! And for those keen on a mechanical iris of their own – but can’t get their head around the finer details – remember there is always Ponoko’s request system where others can jump on board to help make your dreams come true.

source: boingboing

via Make

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