Introduction: Paper Glider Using Silhouette

I recently took over as Cubmaster for my son's pack and have been looking for projects to do with the boys. At the same time I received a Silhouette Portrait and have been wondering what to do with it. Why not kill two birds with one stone and make planes using the Silhouette? Special thanks to Mark Ivey for permission to use his designs.

Step 1: Materials

  • Silhouette Portrait and computer
  • Cardstock
  • Glue- used Elmer's ProBond
  • Brush
  • Parchment paper
  • Disposable bowl
  • Books for weight

Step 2: The Pattern

The first thing is to obtain or create a pattern. Searching the internet will lead you to many sites explaining how to design small gliders. There are formulas for wing and stabilizer size, how to weight the planes, etc. As someone new to making these gliders I looked for existing designs. Mark Ivey graciously granted permission to use the designs for laminated paper airplanes available here.

Converting the PDF files to Silhouette Studio files can be time consuming. This instructable primarily deals with constructing the gliders. The Silhouette files are attached. I plan to make an instructable explaining how to convert PDF and image files into Silhouette files, and will provide a link when complete.

Step 3: Prepare Pieces

  • Open the Silhouette Studio file.
  • Adjust cutting settings- cardstock, blade setting 4, double cut was used.
  • Load paper and select Send to Silhouette.
  • Identify the pieces. They should either be labeled with number (in an area where they overlap so not visible when finished) or enlarge and print the original PDF and place the pieces on the matching outline.
  • Carefully remove and layout the pieces.

Step 4: Assemble Body and Wings

  • Layout parchment paper on work surface.
  • Place glue in bowl.
  • Starting with piece 8b coat one side with glue and glue 7b to it. Coat 7b with glue and repeat process following the PDF instructions from 8b to 8a.
  • Place piece of parchment paper between tail support and wing support tabs so they do not glue together.
  • Glue wing pieces following the instructions. For G4 glider alternate tabs on wing sections as shown to provide a strong bond.
  • Place between pieces of parchment paper and weight with a large book.

Step 5: Final Assembly

  • Decorate pieces prior to assembly.
  • Curve the wing pieces front to back slightly to provide lift.
  • Glue wing and tail stabilizer to body as shown in instructions.
  • Adjust angle of wing pieces according to instructions using the angle guides provided.
  • Allow to dry fully.
  • Fly the glider. To improve flying or to do tricks adjust the wings and tail by bending gently.
  • Enjoy and experiment.
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