Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!


by clothbot, published

PaperFly by clothbot Oct 21, 2012

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Variant of the Bukobot Fly to print with PLA directly on tissue paper.

It's a work in progress, but this is the one I was printing at World Maker Faire 2012.


  1. Print on tissue paper with PLA.

  2. Fold up V-tail.

  3. Add LEGO pieces (or equivalent) to front to add weight as needed.

  4. Launch!

My code repository for this design is at https://github.com/clothbot/makerbot/blob/master/fabjects/Toys/Fliers/PaperFly.scad

For guidance printing PLA on tissue paper, see my Instructables project on the topic: http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printing-PLA-on-Tissue-Paper/

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This is most totally awesome! Reminds me of the balsa wood & rubber band model airplanes my dad used to make. Now I know what to surprise the old man with for the holidays. Thanks for sharing this design!

Brilliant. When I was struggling with adherence on glass, I actually tried PLA on printer paper. The build platform on delta Ares 3D is a glass plate on the base. It is very easy to hold the paper flat. My big complaint back then was that the two materials stuck too well so it was impossible to "remove" the printed piece without tearing the paper.

Your idea to integrate paper as part of the finished object is to me a Post-It moment. I'll have to try tissue paper.

I saw this and the lantern http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:32927http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... at the 2013 Ottawa Maker Faire. Brilliant designs!

OSHW RepRap LED Lantern Cube

Thanks for coming out! The variant you saw me still working on (not ready for a formal Thingiverse derivative entry yet) is at https://github.com/clothbot/ClothBotCreations/blob/master/machines/PaperFly.scadhttps://github.com/clothbot/Cl...

This is indeed an Award Winning design. Congrats!!

Absolutely brilliant man. Saw that at World MakerFaire, and i'm still reeling from what a creative, innovative project this is!

Awesome tweak of my Bukobot Fly! I think I have to try this now.

Thanks for sharing your source! That's what it's all about. :-)

What a great idea to print directly on paper.  Sometime back I made a very similar plane, and used superglue to glue on the material (shower curtain liner)

since I use ABS not PLA (ABS is better i think for moving bearing surfaces) and shower curtain liners (come in colors,etc) is also ABS, It should print real good.

Now there is NO STOPPING ME!  I can finally make and command my swarm of robotic mesquitos  and take over the world (under the assumption that my local dollar has enough shower curtains). 

I will make a mental note to spare you if everything goes to plan.
Thanks for the idea!

The tricky bit with ABS is keeping the substrate flat against the plastic's natural tendency to warp+shrink.

With synthetics like your shower curtain you'll also have to keep an eye on what happens around the nozzle for the first couple of layers.  Strange Things can happen in contact with the molten plastic.