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An animated paper model to download and make. Members can download this model for free, non-members can download the parts for a modest fee. The Paper Dragonfly uses a pendulum in the base to power the wings so that they flutter whenever the box is touched.

Print out the parts; page one onto thin card (230 gram / 230 micron) page two onto standard photocopier paper. Score along the dotted/dashed lines. Cut the solid black lines. Dashed lines are hill folds, dotted lines are valley folds, grey areas show where to glue.

Fold up the tabs on the side of the box to make triangular sections and glue them down. Glue the two box stiffeners into place so that the are lined up with the hole in the box top.

Fold round and glue together the box as shown. Don’t glue the base flaps down yet.

Assemble the pendulum as shown. Glue the card hinge into place on the shorter of the two triangles. Make sure that you exercise the hinge thoroughly so that it bends freely.

Glue the other end of the card hinge to the front of the lid stiffener. Make sure that the pendulum is lined up inside the hole and is free to move.

Glue the leaf stand into place.

Assemble the two wing ends by folding them round and gluing them.

Assemble the wing base and glue on the two paper hinges. Don’t get glue on the crease line as this stiffens up the joint.

Study the picture above and use it as a guide to gluing the wing ends to the wing base. Notice how the parts criss-cross each other, this is what makes the front pair of wings and rear pair of wings move in opposite directions.

Shape the body so that it dips down in the grey area. (Top picture)

Glue the body stand to the base of the body directly below the grey area on the top of the body. Gently curve the end of the tail along its length to give it a 3d effect Glue the body shaping piece into place between the body and the body base.

Glue the wing base to the body, line up the front of the wing base with the front of the grey area on the body.

Glue the longest of the leaves to the box. Notice the small grey line for alignment with the leaf stand. (Arrowed)

Glue the two push rods to the front ends of the wing ends. Make sure you get them the right way round using the picture.

Glue the body base to the leaf so that the push rods hang lined up with the front of the pendulum.

Gently curve the four wings along their length then fold over and join the two tabs to make a sort of flattened tube.

Take two coins and wrap then in the coin holder. I used UK 2p pieces. (7 grams each 25mm diameter)

Glue the coin holder to the bottom of the pendulum so that the centre of the coins is directly beneath the hinge line. Let the glue dry.

Glue the ends of the push rods to the front of the pendulum in the positions marked.

Finish off the dragonfly by gluing on the wings, making sure that they don’t bind against each other. Glue on the remaining blades of grass to complete the project. Once the glue is completely dry, tap the box and the dragonfly wings will flutter!