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 […]
A subtle artefact of stacking leaves in an array is the issue of pseudo-shortening. Being on the continuing quest to make the perfect iris design, it’s certainly a factor to consider when creating an iris diaphragm. So what do I mean when I use the term pseudo-shortening? Let’s start, like all great iris designs, by […]
Designing an iris to be easily manufactured is obviously advantageous. One particular challenge is making the leaves with pins on opposite sides, and is a common limitation associated with 3D printing on a FDM printer (also known as FFF). This is because parts generally benefit from being printed flat (see my previous article). With these […]
Although it is a little unclear as to who invented the iris diaphragm first, there are many candidates that could be credited with the concept. A little searching throws up names such as; Robert Hooke, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, and J.H. Brown. What we do know, is that the first patent for an ‘improved’ device was […]
Once you’ve designed and downloaded your mechanical iris as a DXF, what happens next?
Because the Iris Calculator makes no assumptions as to how you might want to fabricate your iris, those DXF files need to be shaped into your final design. In this brief video I show you an example of how you might extrude the housing into a 3D model using SolidWorks.
8×10″ card, incorporating a 5 blade iris mechanism with a 3.5″ aperture, made of reflective card stock.
Opening the aperture reveals your message.
Message can be easily replaced, and the card used again.
Part of designing a mechanical iris diaphragm is knowing what’s the best material to use for iris blades. Material choice is important for a number of reasons, such as; environment, durability, cost, and ensuring a smooth operation.
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…
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.