Sculptor, kinetic artist, and longtime MAKE pal Alan Rorie is back with this beautiful “pressure door” built for a Nautilus-themed art car commissioned from San Francisco art collective Five Ton Crane.
The door locks and unlocks via RFID, and the huge, four-foot diameter mechanical iris in its center is motorized:
The motorization of the large aperture was surprisingly easy. I used two small DC motors with spur gears and nice torque mounted on either side of the cam ring. I then welded chain around the cam ring turning it into a giant gear. It worked the first time I tried it. I controlled the two motors with an Arduino and a motor shield, two limit switches and a few lines of code. I then modified an old positioner and inserted a set of buttons, so that when you pull the handle of the positioner it trips the buttons and turns the motors.
Rorie, who is a specialist in iris apertures, also built four smaller irising windows for the car’s body. There are many more beautiful pictures in Alan’s Flickr Set. [Thanks, Alan!]
- An iris by any other name?
- How-To: Paper Iris Glasses
- Handmade Irising Wristwatch Cover
- Free Irising Business Card Template
- Printable Iris-Lid Jewelry Box, With Video
- Brass amd Wood “Pressure Door” with Iris, Handwheel
- Motorized Iris Based on Chris Schaie’s Design
- Secret Knock-Detecting Workshop Door