Occasionally an email will arrive from a subscriber who’s project is complete, and their need for the Iris Calculator has come to a natural end. I’m always pleased to hear how the Iris Calculator has helped drive their iris design, and it’s always a joy to see their creations in action.
Way back in 2016 I was contacted by Alvan, who had used the Iris Calculator to help design a giant iris as a blind/shade for his amazing dome building. I had to know more, so I reached out, and he kindly provided some build information on his intriguing project to share:
Skip to 2:50 to see the iris in action.
By the way, to answer the question, “What is this building for?”, and depending on who asks the question, I usually chose from either “A Motorcycle Wall of Death”, a “Replica Pantheon”, a copy of a James Turrell “Skydome”, a “Storage Building” or simply “To see whether I can do it”.
Over the hole in the middle (the oculus) is an iris which I built from a design available from iris-calculator.com. I made the “blades” from 1/16” fibreglass sheets from Lowes known as Sequentia 48-in x 8-ft Embossed White Fiberglass Reinforced Wall Panel Item # 8566 Model # FTSTF.1 Both the body and the actuator rings are made from 1” marine ply (actually each is made from 2 pieces of ½” ply which are glued together because 4’ x 8’ sheets are not big enough by themselves.)
The rotating actuator ring, which is on top of the stationary body ring is revolved by a standard belt driven garage door mechanism. This had the advantage of allowing me to set the open and close limits accurately but I did disable its automatic reverse feature.
The outside of the whole assembly is protected by fibreglass which I bought in the form of chopped matt and resin with a circular sheet of acrylic in the middle.
Cheers, Alvan Judson
Amazing work, and many thanks to Alvan for sharing that great project! You can see his YouTube channel here.
Do you have any iris projects you’d like to share? If so, please do reach out! You can contact us here.
If you’d like to have a go at making your own iris design, please do sign up to our design software. You’ll be able to customise the size and many other design parameters. And once you’re done, you can export and print the templates as a guide.