Iris Box

by msruggles, published

Iris Box by msruggles Oct 16, 2010

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Iris Box by msruggles is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Inspired by http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4244 this is a box that opens when you twist the outer rings in opposite directions. See this video by Labmat: http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewlaberge/5101233486/

Edit I: Design has been modified to increase the clearance between moving parts. I've also centered and oriented the parts in better positions for printing.

Edit II: Design files posted. DXF, STEP and the original CATpart for those with access to Catia. Thanks to everyone for your photos, videos and design feedback!

Edit III: Be sure to check out Jon Hodgins' version: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5589


Print 5 shutters and one of everything else. Assemble with filament or M3 screws. You will probably need to sand some surfaces and drill out some of the holes. Still offering bonus points for a video of it working.

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Hi again! I'm having trouble printing the ring on my afinia. It crashes the build software. Is there a way you could send me the file in a format I can open with blender or meshlab(.obj, ply, etc)?

Sorry mate. I lost access to CATIA some time ago so there isn't much I can do for different file formats.

How long should the M3 screws be?

anything over 50mm (2in) will do. I.e. 55 or 60mm



He's doing so with my consent.

This is very cool, but very big too :) Unfortunately, I underestimated it's size (85mm diameter for the base ring). And, my Mendel Z got hung up at the 80% mark so it's a fail for me :(. And that was 8 hours later (skeinforge predicted 5.5 hours). Will try again when I get some more PLA :)

As a consolation I now have a very cool looking pencil cup 8-)

Nice to see other people using CATIA, but why's it done using a CATpart? Would've expected an assembly...

I could make up a bunch of fancy reasons, but in the end I find it easier and faster to do smaller assemblies as single parts (for non-work related designs).

Aha, just curious though... Downloaded the model the other day, split it up into seperate parts, combined them into a product and made a kinematic model out of it. All I can say is: nice piece of work!

What are the axles made of? Is this a 100% printed box?

In the instructions. The design can use M3 screws or printer filament. Pretty much anything round and ~3mm in diameter will work.

Would you be selling this to non 3d printer users? DONT_KNOW

Working on that option. In the meantime you can give a shout out to the community and see if someone will print you one.

How do i do that? i am new to thingiverse

I'd start by posting a request in the comments here. There is also a Google group where you can post a request (http://groups.google.com/group/thingiverse?pli=1)http://groups.google.com/group...

Having some trouble printing out the geared part of the shutters. It just gets real blobbly. Any tips?

Use Multiply in skeinforge to print more than one at a time. I printed them in sets of 4 and 2.

Hi guys, um labmat, im having trouble figuring out how to multiply, im at the skienforg menu on multiply its just not clear how you do it... DONT_KNOW

Try reducing your temperatures.

Hmm.. maybe integrate a sliding lock to keep it closed

Originally I tried to get the tolerances close enough so friction held it open or closed. If nothing else you can tighten down the screw a little till there is enough drag to keep it from falling open. Can anyone who's printed the latest version comment on how well it stays closed?

How long did this take to print for those who have printed it.

I have the shutters printed, and I am currently mid build of the base, which has been printing for 2.5 hrs and has 4 hrs left. on a printer that only has about 30 hrs of total run time on it. Im hoping to have it all finished by late tonight.

13 hours total for me.

My base failed (pushed off of print bed) just as it was finishing up the first layer of solid fill before it started printing the tabs. so im going to print a middle part that will connect the base to the upper part.

Im going to upload it now as it may help others as well

I scaled it down to about 3/4 actual size, the projected print time unscaled was way too long for me to wait for. I have an estimated time of 2 hours and 50 minutes for the base. Already half way through that. Streaming it live on ustream as we speak. I hope my motors can hang on for that long (been having some overheating issues, can def cook an egg on my x and y motors).

here is a link if anyone cares to view.

my motors seamed to get way to hot as measured with a thermometer they would get to about 150-165F so I printed out some fan holders now they stay at about 90-105F

Are the fan holders on thingiverse? If not, you mind sharing them?

i will upload them later, they are for my repstrap, but they can easily be modified

Yeah so, I shoulda have thought ahead and see if the shutters could have been printed scaled down or not. ~3 hours later after completing the base, turns out that the shutters are not going to work out. BUMMER!

That's awesome. Thank you. Did you use the V1 or the V2 files? If you used the V2 files, did they go together ok?

Thanks! I used the V2 files

I did but my printer supports overhangs. It just uses a lot of plastic so I flipped it for conservation of materials.

msruggles... Do you think you could upload the dxf or skp etc? Files that you made this in? I am going to take a go at creating a laser version.


The ring was a little tight around the base I didn't have to do anything to the holes but I didn't use an m3 screw either. I used a 1/8 3 inch long bolts for drywall anchors.

After a lot of sanding I was able to get this assembled and working. I'll post a video tomorrow.

Thanks for your help with this. How well did the ring fit around the base? Did you have to do anything to the holes?

Was designed in Catia V5. Can output .STEP .IGES and some others. Any preference?

I'm going edit it in ViaCAD 7 and don't know which format will work best; please upload both IGES and STEP versions.


I'm going to try to mod it to become a watch case for my DWex:




It's just a bit too tight to work when fully assembled. Everything fits together fine but it's too difficult to turn after the 3rd shutter is inserted. Reduce the diameter of the shutter stem by a tiny amount and it should work. Also your gears are a bit tight but fixing the diameter of the shutter stem should be enough to fix it. Great job btw. Looking forward to getting it put together and working.

I'm assuming you had to print the base upside-down to avoid overhang issues?