The zoetrope is a clever mechanism used to display animations. Popular in Victorian times the zoetrope has stood the test of time and is now available to download and make in cardboard form!

Turn the handle and the cylinder, with interchangeable picture strips, spins displaying an animated scene.

Members can download the files for free at the link above. non-members can download it for only £2.50. Print out the parts onto thin card. Note that there is a coloured version and non-coloured version in the file.

Once the ink is dry, cut out the holes and score the dotted and dashed lines before carefully cutting out the pieces.

Join the two parts of the cylinder together, roll them round and glue them to make a tube.

Glue the two base stiffeners to the base making sure that they are an accurate right angled triangle. Fold the tabs on the base upwards.

Fit the base into the cylinder. Glue the tabs down so that they just touch the edge of the cylinder.

Glue the square shaft into the base using the square hole and the triangular marks for alignment. The shaft only needs to go a couple of millimeters through the square hole.

Glue the two animation strips together. There is a blank strip for your own designs.

Drop the animation strip into the bottom of the cylinder without gluing it.

Glue the box inner into the box so that it runs just above and just below the hole in the box. Fold the box round and glue it together.

Assemble the box top as shown in the picture above.

Glue the box top and the box base into place making sure that everything stays square.

Assemble the three drive shaft tubes.

Glue two zig-zag strips to the grey areas on the two longer drive shafts.

Zig zag them back and forth four time then trim to length as shown above. (Roughly 15mm)

Glue the two zig zag pieces to the drive shaft centre.

Glue two of the tabbed washers into place using the grey areas for alignment. Note that the tabs face towards the centre of the shaft.

Assemble the handle in three steps. Fold up the and glue together the two square sections.

Fold one section into the other and glue it down.

Roll the long tab round and glue it down to complete the handle.

Fit the drive shaft into the box. The longer shaft goes out of the back of the box.

Fix the washer without tabs to the four tabs on the end of the short drive shaft.

Fit the remaining washer to the horizontal shaft. Glue in the handle.

Complete the model by fitting the cylinder into the hole on the top of the box. There is no need to glue it into place.

Turn the handle and the cylinder spins. As it does so, look through the slots at the animation strip to see it come to life!

You can create your own animations and add the to the blank strip. If you do, send in your animation strips and I’ll be happy to add them to the site. Search online for Eadweard Muybridge and early proponent of animation for a rich source of inspiration.