I was cruising the interwebs when I found a thread talking about irises. Most of the discussion was debating the pros and cons of a traditional interleaved camera iris in various projects. The biggest problem with that design is that it never entirely closes. Several of us started throwing out ideas for alternatives. Star Wars showed up a lot here (the sliding doors in the Death Star, the top hatch on the Millennium Falcon), and when I saw a drawing posted with curved panels that meet in the middle, this project was born.