3D printers are incredible pieces of tech. With the lowering the costs of FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) printers in recent years, it has enabled desktop fabrication to reach the masses – both in the small business environment, and in the home. Sometimes, however, printing a seemingly simple object can also prove to be equally impossible. Including a way to 3d print leaves for an iris diaphragm…
No matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been, there’s always some (good) distractions from the usual work. This time around it was creating a small toy, to go in loot bags for a PJ Masks themed party… Because sometimes even the smallest client is the most important!
Back in February, 2017, Make magazine wrote an unbiased review about the Iris Calculator. The author, Caleb Kraft, used the software to help speed up his design process for making his own mechanical iris. Read the review.
This week, I set myself the challenge of creating an iris that was simple and easy to make. A paper mechanical iris that required no additional materials, or construction techniques, accessible to all. Could it be done?
The blade overlap control usage in the Iris Calculator is somewhat under utilized by default, as it is set to ensure there are absolutely no light leakages. But it can really help – in combination with some of the other controls – to refine your iris diaphragm design. And it is especially useful when dimensions are tight and you need to maximize all the space you have available.
I decided to do something today that I have been wanting to do for a long time; which is to stencil an image on the blades of an iris. This, I figured, has no real practical use – perhaps a new Iris Calculator business card – but none-the-less it would be an interesting effect to see. And as it’s Canada day today, what better image to use than the Canadian flag!
Today we raid the kitchen draw and get to disassemble a spaghetti iris portion tool. The Joseph Joseph adjustable spaghetti measure cleverly makes use of an iris diaphragm’s aperture to give you the perfect amount of pasta on your plate, every time.
Manufacturing mechanical an iris diaphragm blade, identically, multiple times is a challenge. Usually you’re dealing with very thin material and needing to mount pins securely, with a high degree of accuracy. Here is a somewhat subjective run through of various methods of making blades for your iris.
Building an iris diaphragm needn’t always require specialist tools and materials. A perfectly functional aperture can be easily created from craft materials found around the home. All it takes is a little patience and a steady hand.
Sometimes you need a mechanical iris that can close completely. One design that accomplishes this is the dual-plane iris diaphragm.