Easy Magnus Glider




Introduction: Easy Magnus Glider

In this Instructable, I will explain how to make a Magnus Glider using only a few materials! The Magnus effect is a big part of many sports, military use, and engineering purposes. When an object is spinning against air flow a force is produced that lifts up the object. This is the Magnus effect! I found it very interesting and thought it was a perfect entry for this contest.

I also designed a 3D printable Launcher for the glider that you can download and print if you have access to a printer. The file is here on this page.

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Step 1: Gather Materials

For this project you will need the following:



2 cups (or more)

OPTIONAL: 3D Printed Launcher

Step 2: Get Cups and Tape

Cut a strip of tape long enough so it can wrap around the circumference of the cup on the bottom.

Step 3: Assembly Part 1

Place half of the tape underneath the cup like so.

Step 4: Assembly Part 2

Place the other half of the cup exactly on the bottom of the other cup so they are connected.

Step 5: Assembly Part 3

Wrap around the tape. It doesn't have to be pretty! And there you go, you have your glider!

Step 6: Grab Your Rubber Bands

Now we will make the launcher.

Step 7: Assembly of Launcher Part 1

Place one of the rubber bands on top of another.

Step 8: Assembly of Launcher Part 2

Loop the rubber bands together so you create one longer one.

Step 9: Assembly of Launcher Part 3

Repeat the last step until you get a long rubber band.

The length of your one rubber band can be adjusted based on the cup size and other variables.

Once you have this rubber band you can simply just use this, or follow the next steps if you have a 3D printer.

Step 10: Assembly of Launcher Part 4 (optional)

Grab your 3D printed launcher and the long rubber band you just made.

Step 11: Assembly of Launcher Part 5 (optional)

Loop the end of the rubber band around the launchers hook.

Step 12: Assembly of Launcher Part 6 (optional)

Hook the bands inside the holes on the left and right.

NOTE: If the rubber bands don't stay in then you can hot glue them in the holes for better adhesion.

There you go now you're ready to launch!

Step 13: Launching Part 1

Place the opposite end of the rubber band in the middle of the cup-like so.

Step 14: Launching Part 2

Wrap the rubber band around the cup multiple times, make sure you have extra band left for launch.

Step 15: Launching Part 3

Now the band should stay in place and the Magnus glider is ready to fly!

Step 16: Launching Part 4

When launching the Magnus Glider you must have the launcher underneath the glider facing out and your other hand holding the glider itself like so. With some practice, this should come easily.

If you do not have the 3D printed launcher you can simply use your finger or tape the rubber band to a pencil!

Step 17: Launching

Here I launched the one we just made! But what if we changed some variables?

Such as:

Amount of cups

Cup size

Rubberband Length

Band elasticity

Step 18: Different Variable Launching

Same cup size but more cups!

Step 19: Extra

I had a great time doing this instructable! If anyone makes a Magnus glider show us down in the comments! Don't forget to leave a like and maybe give me a vote in the "Make it Fly" contest!

If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Make It Fly! Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Make It Fly! Contest 2017

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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Very cool! Great project to see physics in action. Nicely done :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks! Glad you liked it!