Zen Glider

Walkalong gliders are super cool but I wanted a more accessible and convenient version of it. The main issue is transport since they get squashed. The other is you need a piece of cardboard to fly them so that’s a lot of baggage.

I was able to get one together with a cardboard holder fits in your pocket and is about the size of your smart phone. The glider is a paper-thin slice of foam with some folds and a curly nose made from paper. It’s flight performance is very pleasing with a slow-gentle glide.

You fly the glider using the cardboard to push air.

How It’s Made

This is a very green project reusing cardboard from the Ottawa Public Library and other sources. The paper are cutoffs from another project and the foam is reuse as well.

This is such a fun project with a collection of fabrication methods.

The holder is cut on a CNC laser cutter, folded then glued. It is finished using a laser cut stencil, children’s paint using a spritzer.

The glider is made from Styrofoam using a bow foam cutter to make the shape, then a foam slicer to make it thin.

It is then stamped with three colors of ink (stamp was made on a cnc laser cutter).

Lines are pressed for the folds, then curly-nose paper ballast is attached with tape, curled with a sharp edge then trimmed to balance the plane.

How Does It Fly?

Some explanation on how the glider flies.

I Want One!

I’ve marked the carriers by stenciling with a spritzer. The coolest thing is the different cardboard gives it character. So are my favorite is one with a shipping label on it for the library. Get a glider.

Project Progress

What to name it? Here are the working names so far: Sidestep, High 5, Bill the Glider, WiO – Wip It Out!, Zanonia, Zen-onia or Zen, Zan, Pocket Pilot

Business Card Version

I did some experiment with a smaller version and found it was very easy to fly with just your hands. In fact I found I could fly a smaller one with just one hand. So I decided to shrink it right down to fit in a business card holder and then design a cardboard business card holder. Here are some shots from prototype testing at the Ottawa Public Library.



Seed flight characteristics


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