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Be Amazed At Luca’s Giant Articulating Wings

When a young teen expresses enough interest in building something that they research biological inspiration, mechanical designs, electronics systems, and document it all in a journal with complex design sketches, you have to support them. This is the way.

Luca wanted wings. He did the work to figure out the best way he could make them, and as you can see in the video above, the final results are quite frankly, stunning.

Luca with a pile of prototype mechanical designs

After tons of research and a lot of simple prototypes, Luca landed on a design that uses two short throw linear actuators to control his wings. They can raise and lower with a controller he holds in his hand. The motion is deceptively simple, looking like a much more complex mechanism while it is in motion.

To cover the wings, Luca went with a very biologically inspired approach and created individual feathers with a natural mottled appearance. The whole thing came together to be stunning.

Taking things a step further, Luca designed a pair of wings for his younger sister that look just as amazing but manage to only use a single linear actuator. To read about that and get all the details of this build, go to the instructable.


Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I'd always love to hear about what you're making, so send me an email any time at

View more articles by Caleb Kraft