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Laser Cut Cupid Instructions and Parts


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Purchase a full kit of parts here

Also available on Instructables

This laser cut Cupid automata uses gears and linkages to come to life. Turn the handle and watch him fly!
I’ve made the pdf file of parts available for everyone to download for free. You’ll need to adapt it to suit the file format of your particular laser cutter.
If you don’t have a laser cutter you may be able to use one in
one of the many FabLabs and Hacker Spaces which are springing up all over the world.

All the parts are cut from 3mm laser ply. You will also need a selection of 6mm diameter dowels cut to length as follows.
6mm x 4 : 9mm x 3 : 15mm x 5 : 25mm z 2 : 35mm x 1

Start by fitting two 9mm long dowels into one of the body sides. They should be a tight fit so you may need to tap them into place with a hammer.

Glue the body middle into place, tap it down and add another thin film of glue.

Fit the other side into place.

You’ll need four 3mm cube neodymium magnets to attach the wings. I purchased a set from eBay for less than the price of a cup of coffee.

Glue the four magnets into the slots in the body using strong epoxy adhesive (Araldite)

The glue holding the four magnets will need to dry completely.

Snip the end off a paper clip to make a crude drill.

Use the drill to make two small holes in the edge of both wings.

Bend a length of paper clip so that it fits neatly into the two holes.

Press the staple home and glue it into place with epoxy.

Make a small ‘U’ shape from a length of paper clip and glue it into the slot on the wing.

Notice that the larger gears are marked with either an ‘x’ or an ‘o’
Pair up the two ‘x’s as shown joining them together with glue and two 6mm dowels. the dowels must be flush with the surface of the gear. If necessary, file the dowels down. Repeat with the ‘o’ gear.

Fit the gear inner into place with a 15mm dowel on either side as shown.

Fit the push rod over the dowel as shown then fit the other gear into place. the push rod must be free to rotate completely inside the gear.

The top front of the smaller gear parts are all marked with an ‘x’.

Fit together two gears and the gear inner with two 15mm dowels.

Add the other two gear pieces.

Push the 35mm dowel through the gear so that it sticks out roughly 10mm on one side.

Assemble the linkage as shown carefully gluing it together.

Join the linkage to the push rod with a 9mm dowel. Make sure that it rocks up and down freely.

Fit one of the sides onto the two base pieces.

Fit the linkage and large gear followed by the small gear into the holes in the side piece.

Fit the other side pace into place.

Make up two wing push rods from straightened out paper clips.

Slip the body onto the push rod so that it is facing towards the small gear.

Fit the two wing push rods into the two holes on the end of the linkage.

Hook the other end of the wing push rod into the loops on the wings.

Lift the wing up so that it snaps into place on the magnets.

Repeat the process with the other wing.

Fit the handle parts to the shaft on the small gear.


Turn the handle and watch Cupid fly!

4 reviews for Cupid

  • This looks terrific! But why
    This looks terrific! But why can’t you put together a laser cut kit available by post with all the parts included?

    • Interesting idea Chris, would
      Interesting idea Chris, would anyone else be interested?

      • This model looks so nice
        This model looks so nice that most of the members and non members would be interested in it. I’m interested indeed, too. Congratulations, Rob for this nice creation.

      • I certainly would be
        I certainly would be interested in any such kit

      • if your talking about like a
        if your talking about like a punchout or everything all ready cutout in the kit then depending on the price point it sounds like it could be fun or maybe rob could figure out how to make something like that mechinism in paper form.

        • I would say that only gears
          I would say that only gears in laser cuts (to keep cost in line), the rest can be made out of paper at home from the download pattern.

  • I too am interested in laser
    I too am interested in laser cut parts. But would also like a paper version. I think so the ease and elegance disappears. The drive with two gears and a sturdy box would be very compact in relation to the flying cupid.

  • This model cut in plywood
    This model cut in plywood with a pretty woodgrain would be striking! Metallic would also look nice, especially if Cupid were done in the various shades of rose gold. Then my mind’s eye sees the base in wood, gears and levers in silver (stainless steel?) and Cupid in gold. It’s too bad, but for many people that “cardboard” look says “cheap toy”, and they look away before they see the elegance of the design and the grace of the motion.

  • Are you familiar with the
    Are you familiar with the mobiles of a bird with hinged spread wings, hanging from two cords which pass through the wings at midwing and continue down to unite in a hanging weight? The model is balanced so that it hangs naturally with wings level, but a tug on the hanging weight starts a vertical pendulum motion with the pivots at the midwing insertion points, so that as the body rises up and down the bird appears to be flapping its wings. This is, perhaps, not a “mechanism” that would be sufficiently sophisticated to interest you, but Cupid would lend himself well to this mechanism also.

    • good design I will try for

      good design I will try for cutting laser thanks …

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