Introduction: Cyclogyro Project Summary

This project is guide for how to make a hand operable cyclogyro rotor that can be used to explain and understand the mechanics of this alternative rotor design.

What is a cyclogyro? Popular Mechanics has quite a good write up of the historical and current state of this technology.

What can I do with this rotor?

From what is currently available on the internet, there are little to no guides, downloadable models or easily understandable resources to help someone make a cyclogyro rotor.

This guide is a starting point for any hobbyist/student/educational project to show the mechanics of the system, and has the potential to be modified further into a motor powered rotor, or even with lighter materials a version that could be used as alternatives to traditional drone/quadcopter rotors.

Relevant files:

Quick view Sketch fab model:

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

What tools will you need to make this?

**note- many of the materials/components can be changed if you cannot find the exact size, just be sure to change the hole/corresponding part size

Also while I used power tools, laser cutter and a 3d printer for the parts, it would be possible to make this entirely from hand tools but the smoothness of the rotor would likely be worse.


Band saw (could get away with using a hacksaw)

Laser cutter

3D printer (these parts could be shortened or replaced by hand/laser cutting their profile from another material)




Super glue/any strong all purpose adhesive

Step 2: Materials 3mm Laser Cutting

Laser cut material

3mm thick sheet (I chose acrylic) if you are efficient with your cutting/nesting you can get all the 3mm parts on a sheet around 465mm x 270mm

Step 3: Materials: 9mm Laser Cutting

Laser cut material
9mm thick sheet (I chose mdf)

Part 12, the pitch offset cap, generally came out pretty consistently however I recommend cutting a few of the spacers(part 9) as they were not always very accurate.

Step 4: Materials: Bearings

I used 2 12.5x28x8mm bearings, however if you can only find another size don't forget to changes the hole size on part 7 and 11 so it can fit the outer diameter of the bearing, and the spacer size on part 9 to fit inside the bearing.

Good link for sizing bearings:

Step 5: Materials: 3D Printed Parts

I printed these parts in pla,and they were printed standing on their ends so the print height was 150mm, however you could modify the CAD files and create shorter wings and central shaft if your printer doesn't print that height.

Step 6: Materials: 4mm Dowel and PVC Pipe

I used 4mm dowel for the majority of the joints and axles in this rotor, all of the corresponding holes are 3.75mm so the whole build can be push fit without needing glue. I cut the dowel to length with a bandsaw but a hacksaw will work just as well.

You will need at least 1070mm of 4mm dowel

4mm dowel cutting list:

Part 14, Wing Axles: 14mm x 8

Part 16, Wing Pitch Axles: 40mm x 4

Part 17, Pitch Offset axle: 26mm x 1

Part 15, Step Down Struts: 15mm x 4

Part 5, Crank Struts: 103mm x 4


You can cut x2 150mm lengths of 4mm dowel as extra support for the central shaft (part 7)

PVC pipe:

I used 25mm outer diameter pvc pipe, internal diameter was 22mm. Cut down to 94mm in length

Step 7: Materials: Centre Pitch Axle Dowel

Part 10, the centre pitch axle, I used 360mm of 6mm dowel

Step 8: Start Building! Stand Assembly

Slot part 2 into one of your part 1s, depending on the tolerance of the laser cutting, they should be friction fit. If it is not secure then glue in place.

Slide the pvc tube section into the hole and sandwich the other part 1 on top and glue if necessary.

Step 9: Make the Crank Handle

Take your part 5s, and push into the holes in part 4, glue if necessary.

Step 10: Stand/crank Assembly

Slide the part 4/5 handle into the pvc pipe.

Step 11: Stand/crank Assembly Continued

Push part 6 onto the 4 dowel ends sticking out of the pvc pipe until flush with outer face. Glue if necessary.

This handle assembly should rotate freely and smoothly.

Step 12: Central Shaft and Bearing Assembly

Push the bearing(part 8) into the hole in the end of part 7, they should be friction fit but if not glue into place.

Note: make sure the inner bearing can spin freely and isn't fouling on the bottom of the shaft hole.

Turn shaft over and repeat with the remaining bearing (part 8).

Step 13: Bearing Spacers

Slide your bearing spacers(part 9) into the inside bearing, they should fit snuggly and not fall out when turned upside down.

Step 14: Centre Pitch Axle

Take you 6mm diameter centre pitch axle (part 10) and push it through the bearings, spacers and central shaft so there is around 9mm sticking out on one side.

Step 15: Cross Frames

Push part 11 onto the bearing, so it sits flush against the central shaft. Again it should be friction fit but glue if not secure. Repeat on the other side.

Step 16: Centre Pitch Axle Offset Cap

Push the centre pitch axle offset cap (part 12) onto the 6mm dowel sticking out, don't let the dowel push all the way through.

Step 17: Centre Pitch Offset Cap Alignment

Make sure that part 12 can spin freely with the axle and isn't fouling on the bearing.

Step 18: Wing Axles

As per the photo, take the wing axles (part 14), and push into the front holes on both sides of the wing until it can't go any further, repeat on all the wings.

Step 19: Optional Structural Support

If you cut the 150mm support struts, then slot them in to holes on part 11 as per the photo.

Step 20: Fitting the Wings

Slot the wings into the ends of the cross frame(part 11) making sure that the wings are facing the same direction. They should spin about the axles smoothly.

Step 21: Step Down Struts

On the side without the offset cap(part 12) push in the step down struts(part 15), glue if necessary.

Step 22: Wing Pitch Axles

As per the pohoto, take the wing pitch axles(part 16), and on the side with the pitch axle offset cap(part 12) push them into the rear holes onto the wings.

Step 23: Pitch Offset Axle

Push the pitch offset axle(part 17) into the smaller hole on the pitch offset cap(part 12). But don't let it poke out the other side, ensure it is secure and a tight fit.

Step 24: Pitch Arms

Slide the pitch arms(part 18) onto the pitch offset axle(part 17), then hook the other end onto the wing pitch axle(part 16). Repeat with all the pitch arms.

Step 25: Secure Base

Depending on the weight of the wings, the model may want to overbalance, you can cut out a rough base and glue it onto the stand, then add any counter weight as necessary.

Step 26: Final Assembly

Slide the wing assembly through the pvc pipe and line up the step down dowel(part 15) into the corresponding holes on part 6. Ensure there is a secure fit, glue if necessary.

Step 27: Finished!

Spin the centre pitch axle(part 10) a full 360 degrees, and observe the pitch change on the wings, then hold the pitch axle(part 10) and spin the handle(part 4) and see how the wings work on a cyclo gyro!