These Working Papercraft Engines Are Jaw-Droppers

Craft & Design Paper Crafts Science
These Working Papercraft Engines Are Jaw-Droppers


This video of YouTuber Al Zh demonstrating his working six-cylinder engine made of paper is a real WOW. I can only imagine the amount of patience that went into this complicated little build. And how many iterations do you think he had to go through to get to this point? I get paper cuts just thinking about it!

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The V6 was built with little more than paper, scissors, glue, and tape. (And whatever material he used for the drive belt.) Al Zh uses the compressed air from a balloon as his power source.

It’s amazing watching the mechanics of the engine in action, and so thoughtful of him to include viewing ports. I guess if you’re going to put so much time and energy into tiny mechanical workings, fashioned out of paper, you want to show them off. Things get really interesting when he attaches the balloon to power it up.

In operation, the sound of this papercraft wonder is a bit of a shocker. You are forgiven if your first thought is: “That sounds like a REAL engine.” It is a real engine! One made of paper and powered by a pumpkin balloon. I don’t suspect we’ll see this powering a tiny paper car anytime soon. But, given the ingenuity of this papercraft engineer, anything is possible.

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Above is the video and a photo for one of Al Zh’s other models, a paper four-cylinder engine. He even has plans for this one, with assembly instructions, available for download here.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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