I'd like to drive a pair of mechanical shutter / apertures with an electromagnet. For those curious, we're using a shutter from Edmond optical. For the particular application, I'd like to design a compact actuator to drive it. (I had considered just hacking a camera lens with a shutter, but couldn't find one that was large enough for my needs).
So at present I am thinking about attaching a neodymium magnet to the lever of the shutter and then using a series of electromagnets to push it between open and closed. Which all leads to my first question: how can build compact electromagnet?
It seems like the steps involved are to find a solenoid and then to drive it with a decent voltage difference. I wonder if anyone could recommend a good small solenoid for such purposes. Does it make more sense to roll my own with an iron core and insulated wire?
My second question is more open-ended: can you think of a better way to drive such a shutter? How would you design the shutter motor?
UPDATE: in response to comments:
@tyblu the shutter needs to be open or closed in about 500 microseconds (but exactness is not important).
@bt2 a solenoid is interesting, are you thinking of hitting the lever and letting momentum carry it across to the close position?