Instructables
Here's how to make an ornithopter powered by a rubber band.


You will need the following: (All my measurements are in inches.)

Wood: (Balsa works well, but i used coffee stirring sticks)

2 x 1 in.
2 x 1 1/2 in.
1x 2 1/2 in.
3 x 3 1/2 in.
1 x 4 1/2 in.
2x 5 in.

Wire: (paper clips work well)

1 x 2 1/4
2 x 2
1 x 1 1/4

Other Stuff:

Rubber Band
Super glue
Needle nosed plyers
beads
glue gun
Tissue paper (Other light materials work.)

 
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Step 1: The Body

Picture of The Body
First, cut out all of your wood and wire, Then start Gluing together.
Take your 4 1/2 in. stick and glue on the 1 in. sticks as shown in the picture. Then glue the 2 1/2 stick across the top.

Step 2: The Tail

Picture of The Tail
Then glue your three 3 1/2 pieces together in a triangle.

Step 7: Wings

Picture of Wings
Here's the wings you'll need to hot glue them to the spars. As for the tail just trace it and cut it out.

Step 8: Finish

Picture of Finish
Just attach a rubber band, wind it and give it a toss!


Ask me for any questions

Enjoy!
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the clone5 months ago

what did you make the wings out of?

imitomi9 months ago
What is the mass of the ornithopter?
Emsaid (author)  imitomi8 months ago
Sadly I no longer have the ornithopter anymore. I'll have to re-make it and weigh it. I have to admit though that this model is fairly heavy as it is made with a heavier wood. Though the point of this ible was to show people how to make a working mechanical model with easy to find materials. It did fly but it was not the best ornithopter out there
jid46113 years ago
could you use popsicle sticks?
Emsaid (author)  jid46112 years ago
you could but the idea is to use as little material as possible so they might be to heavy but you could try, you could mybe break them in half long ways
Could we use plastic straws? They're pretty light...
ItsmeNivas1 year ago
awesome mechanism........(y)
lmendoza111 year ago
Mine wont spin properly, and the rubber snaps. How fast must it flap for it to take flight?
One other very important thing to test and adjust is the distance between bends on the driver and driven cranks so that they don't stop. Making a bigger ornithopter would make reducing friction easier,too.
Emsaid (author)  lmendoza111 year ago
you may need to check each pivot point and make sure there is the least friction possible, finding the right beads is important. try a thicker rubber band (not to thick, other wise it will snap you thopter) and surprisingly it doesnt have to flap very fast to take flight, it just needs constant flapping. also the lighter the materials used will make for longer flights.
eyesee1 year ago
Can fly you
DrJase2 years ago
Great 'ible! Am definitely going to make one (I had quite a collection of Starbucks coffee stirrers!)

Any cance of a video of yours in flight?

лким2 years ago
Вот немного по махалётам http://xn--80ahduedo.xn--p1ai/machol_ti.html еще бы чертежи махалётов
awesome design
loved it!!
Raaunak2 years ago
I have already built one, but the problem is that the rubber band is unable to turn the wooden pieces.
krra yaar mazedaar chiz banai hai ye .............karre launde
good frnd,,,
what if you dont have tissue paper? what other kind of peper would you use? i dont have tissue paper. only paper towels and toilet paper. and the toilet paper is to small lol.

so if you had to choose between wax paper, tin foil, napkins, or paper towels to make the winds, what would you choose? lol. please help.   :D
 Plastic bags
lets see... out of those i would choose wax paper, but i think plastic bags would work better, tissue paper also works great
Emsaid (author)  pie popper4 years ago
oops! signed into the wrong account! so the above comment is actually from me
dombeef Emsaid4 years ago
Oh ok, won't wax paper be too heavy?
Beduk dombeef3 years ago
wax paper is not heavy.But i think aluminum foil will be better since it is light and sturdier.
dombeef Beduk3 years ago
Aluminum foil is too thin, it rips easly, and it crumples easly too
you should also take into account aluminum foil is kinda heavy because it is technically metal, well... yeah, by the way thanks for the instructible! I used it for a science fair project with which wing material works better, aluminum foil (Iron Man) or plastic bag (Plastic Man) Marvel and DC collide again.
Hope your science fair entry did well, very clever, are you going to become an engineer? Many I ask what your findings were, foil or plastic?

Has anyone tried using a foam-alight (aka Styrofoam, expanded foam) sheet material for the wings? It should work, ample stiffness and lightweight, just need a very thin piece.
You said peper
newspaper?
pbman1233 years ago
i made this but on mine the rubberband won't spin the little things to move the wings
Emsaid (author)  pbman1232 years ago
you might need a stiffer rubberband or make sure the hook thing can move freeely
jid46113 years ago
Also, in step one, is the1in piece by the line in the middle on the 4.5 in piece or at the end?
Emsaid (author)  jid46112 years ago
its 2.5 inches from the front like the pic shows
sasorin3 years ago
I need help! Everytime I try and make holes in the wood, it splits. Any advice?
try to put masking tape around the area before putting in the hole.
Might not be solid enough, you have to ensure the fibers stick to each other.
Glue the area of the wood you wish to make a hole in. Let dry. Hope this helps.
McChubs3 years ago
Do you need 2 hook shapes for this?
McChubs3 years ago
Thnx dude ur ibles r epic!!!
McChubs3 years ago
The wire number 3 (make a hook shape) was hard so I just used a nail hook is that ok?
Emsaid (author)  McChubs3 years ago
that should be fine just dont use a heavy one!
McChubs3 years ago
I am confused, plz help. Where di the beads go, it is confusing and for step 1 the body which way does the 2 1/2 go?
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