WALKALONG GLIDER AND FOAM STORE
The Walkalong Glider and Foam Store is temporarily closed, until early July. These are exciting times, and I need time to incorporate some good changes that will make it easier for people to build and fly walkalong gliders. Experimentally, I've been able to cut foam that is thicker (and therefore stronger, less flimsy) but not weigh more--so is still flies slowly and efficiently. It takes time to bring that from the research stage to production; and I need the CNC hotwire cutter for those experiments. I am suspending the store operations until I can get that worked out. Also, I've had some better build and learn-to-fly videos almost finished--for months now; never finished from lack of time. I have to set aside time to finish those projects.
Thanks for your patience. You can still place an order, but it might not be filled until July (especially large orders). If you need more information contact me.
GOOD CHANGES COMING SOON!
A NOTE ABOUT PAYMENT: Embedded PayPal buttons for customer convenience and security have worked well and automatically convert currencies. When you click on a button, you go to a secure PayPal page. All proceeds go directly to the non-profit, education organiztion, the Physics Factory. If for any reason you send in a check, please make it out to Physics Factory. Feel free to contact me, Slater, with any questions.
|Back to Air Surf main
page. Instructions and patterns are linked there.
Back to sciencetoymaker main page.
About the Foam Store
Order using a purchase order.
|Welcome to the Walkalong Glider and Foam Store. Thin sliced, low-density foam much more efficient and easier to fly than paper. My goal is to spread this great science STEM activity by providing the highest quality and lowest prices for both small quantities and large. You'll find links to helpful information, including detailed instructions for the first step of getting started. I (Slater) am happy to answer any questions by e-mail or phone. Proceeds from sales go directly to The Physics Factory, a non-profit education outreach. Learn more about the store here.|
THESE PRODUCTS WILL GET YOU STARTED: Click on pictures below for full description.
|$12 READY TO FLY FLEET||$20 BULK 100|
|$14 RTF FLEET, ASIAN FOAM||$22 SHAPE-CUT SHEETS|
FOR ADVANCED PILOTS: (not pictured, but click on the text to go directly to full description): **DIY HOT-WIRE FOAM CUTTING KIT (to cut and slice your own sheets from scrap foam); ULTRA LOW-DENSITY ASIAN FOAM (half the density of the lightest North American foam)**SPECIAL ORDERS
|Thin foam gliders are the best for starting air-surfing, and for advanced flight too. All proceeds benefit the non-profit education organizations Physics Factory and Physics Bus.||We built a robot (CNC) hot-wire foam cutter to slice sheets from the blocks. Automated production means high quality and low cost.||We program G-code into the computer, which controls the CNC robot hot-wire cutter, cutting perfect .5mm. sheets that the gliders are then made from.||In addition to foam sheets, we sell ready-to-fly gliders, specialty products for advanced pilots, DIY and mass-production kits.|
ABOUT THE FOAM STORE from Slater Harrison aka sciencetoymaker
|It is difficult for people to understand that paper is very heavy when compared to foam. But imagine how heavy these stacks would be if they were books or newspapers instead of foam! The foam is cut into thin (.5mm) sheets, many times lighter than a sheet of paper of equal rigidity.|
The foam store started a few years ago at my school, where we discovered how thin foam gliders were many times lighter and stronger than paper gliders. Recognizing the need for precision-cut 1/2 millimeter foam, students helped make foam and gliders to sell around the world as an education project and fund raiser. After almost 3 decades of education, I am no longer teaching but happy to say that foam and glider production continues with my daughter's help, and all proceeds go directly to the non-profit education PHYSICS FACTORY and PHYSICS BUS. With walkalong gliders, Bernoulli's Principle, fluid dynamics, flight stability, center of mass, analysis of systems and Newton's Laws of Motion all become engaging and tangible. Unlike model airplane kits, foam gliders cost only pennies, so whole classes of students can get high-quality hands-on flight experience for only a few dollars.
**All foam sheets and gliders are made of "Time Warp North America" (TWNA) foam unless noted. Read all about foam used for walkalong gliders here.
**Children under the age of 10 years old might not have developed the hand/eye coordination to be able to fly yet. Even young teenagers might need your guidance to get started until they can read and follow directions. Here are some thoughts about teaching groups to fly air-surf gliders. Although I can do rushed orders, I discourage that because it's better if you can fly before teaching others.
**The gliders are delicate and must be handled very carefully! Building gliders is more difficult than flying them.
**You will need dead-calm air to fly in, which usually means inside, away from air vents.
**I send ready-to-fly gliders with most products. These sample gliders have a front weight made of thin copper wire. Since different designs require different weights, we do not ship weights with sheets of foam. You can use paper or aluminum foil, as explained on this page all about front weight.
**The foam sheets are very thin--half a millimeter. If you look closely, you will see tiny pinholes in between the circles (beads). These do not affect flying. Indeed, if we switched to the kind of foam that has no holes, it would be much heavier and unsatisfactory (we've tried it).
Please feel free to contact me (Slater, AKA sciencetoymaker) with any questions or comments
PRODUCTS TO GET STARTED FLYING INEXPENSIVELY
$12 READY TO FLY FLEET MADE FROM NORTH AMERICAN FOAM Read more about Time Warp North America foam VS. Time Warp Asian foam here.
10 Ready-to-fly gliders. Flying
gliders is easier and goes faster than making gliders.
For some situations, just flying gliders makes more sense. Even if
you do plan to make your own gliders eventually, flying and understanding
gliders first makes it easier to build them. See
how to fly here.
Back to top
BULK 100 FOAM
Please Note: The new sheet size (203mm by 97mm; 8"by3 3/4") is the exact length of the gliders, which is slightly shorter than the old size. This means that the old instructions--which say to tape the pattern to the foam at the ends--don't quite work anymore. You could tape at another place. There is a much better and faster method. I will upload some rough instructions for it in a few days (it is June 3 today). This is the PDF for the new pattern. It works by folding the foam in half and cutting out with the half pattern. Then use the full pattern and a straightedge to fold on the dashed lines.
100 sheets of foam and 1 ready-to-fly glider
There are few science projects that give students a high-quality, hands-on flight experience at only 20 cents per student. See these important tips about teaching groups to fly air-surf gliders. Does not include front weights for the sheets; more about front weight. Read these notes before ordering
International customers: $20 USD + see the "dropdown" for shipping.
By default we use the least expensive shipping method and IT IS SLOW! More about international postage--delivery time, faster delivery, cost, etc.--is here. If possible, please provide a telephone number in the PayPal page for if there is a delivery problem.
Back to top
$14 READY TO FLY FLEET MADE FROM TIME WARP ASIA (TWA) FOAM Read more about Time Warp Asia foam vs. Time Warp North America foam here.
gliders made with ultra-low density TWA foam.
At 6 to 7.5 kilograms per cubic meter density, Time Warp Asia foam is astonishingly lightweight--only about 5 times more dense than air! Because these gliders weigh less, they have a much thinner front wire. Time Warp Asia foam is more delicate and easy to tear, but if you can handle it carefully you'll experience almost magical, slow, efficient flight. I use gliders made of it both for teaching beginners how to fly--because the slow flight gives them time to think and react--and for advanced flight projects like hands-only flying because they are so light and efficient.
Back to top
$22 SHAPE-CUT FOAM 100
Stack of 100 foam sheets pre-cut to shape for the Mosquito glider, and one ready-to-fly glider
This foam is already cut to the Mosquito glider shape. This page and video show 4 ways that you can get the folds in shape-cut foam. This video shows how to mass-produce if you make the folding jigs. Make sure that you have decided how you will fold them before you order shape-cut foam. Does not include front weights--more about.
You might notice that the foam sheets have a slight curve. It will give you some gentle dihedral (upward slant of the wings that add flight stability) if you remember to make the gliders so the inside curve (concave side) is up, and the outside curve (convex side) is the bottom of the glider. If you forget, it's not problem; it just takes a few seconds to bend them the other way. Also, I no longer round off the 4 corners. That does not affect flight, but you can snip a bit off the corners with scissors if you want to.
International customers: $22 USD + at least $13.50 for shipping. See the "dropdown". Note that the costs include shipping. $13.50 is our actual minimum cost that we pay for postage up to 8 ounces (227 grams); but 2 boxes are within that weight, so you can get 2 boxes and not pay any more for shipping. By default we use the least expensive shipping method and IT IS SLOW! More about international postage--delivery time, cost, etc.--is here.
Back to top
$20 CUT YOUR OWN FOAM KIT
the video and read about how to use the
Yes, you can collect and slice your own foam. Flying, even with heavy foam, is many times better than flying with the lightest paper gliders. The kit includes the things that might be difficult to find locally: two kinds of nickel-chromium resistance wire (10 feet of thicker 30 gauge for rough-cutting; 30 feet of thinner 38 gauge for fine-cutting); two bronze pieces that are threaded and notched for getting precision thickness; 2 alligator clips, screws, adjustable rubber bands; sample blocks of very low-density (Time Warp Asia) foam and Time Warp North America foam and screws. Then you provide things that are easily found locally—often free: a flat board, a car battery charger (somebody you know has one in their garage), a threaded rod (inexpensive from any hardware store) and some basic tools like a drill, drill bits, pliers, hacksaw. You can buy regular EPS foam in any building center. If you want the special low-density Asian foam, see below.
Back to top
$10 BLOCKS OF TIME WARP (TWA) ASIA FOAM
Read more about Time Warp Asia foam vs. Time Warp North America foam here.
Blocks of Asian foam for cutting your own sheets that almost fill up a 9" by 4" by 4" (23cm x 10cm x 10cm) box. The remaining space contains 5 sheets already cut to what I find to be the best thickness so you have a starting point. Also, one ready-to-fly glider made from TWA foam.
I try to include blocks in a range of densities from 4.5kg/m3 (has bigger voids) to 7kg/m3, but I can make it all one kind if you communicate your preference.
You will need some way to cut these blocks, either a cutter made from this kit or one of your own design. Very thin nichrome wire is best.
I can also supply larger blocks or and larger amounts or already-sliced sheets if you contact me an let me know what you're looking for.
International customers: $10 USD + at least $13.50 for shipping. See the "dropdown". Note that the costs include shipping. $13.50 is our actual minimum cost that we pay for postage up to 8 ounces (227 grams); but 2 boxes are within that weight, so you can get 2 boxes and not pay any more for shipping. By default we use the least expensive shipping method and IT IS SLOW! More about international postage--delivery time, cost, etc.--is here.
Back to top
SPECIAL ORDERS, SPECIAL PROJECTS
I like special projects and try to be helpful when people experiment. Do you need an odd size of foam or particular thickness? Or would you just like some advice? Contact me and maybe I can help you out with material, advice or both. A new video about designing your own walkalong gliders is coming soon.
Back to top
More about the Physics Factory and Physics Bus
The Physics Factory is not-for-profit education organization that was founded 10 years ago by inspired scientists and educators at the University of Arizona. After several years of building the organization, one of the founders, Erik Herman, took a position at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Now Erik has created a Physics Bus, drawing on his successful experience with the Physics Factory Physics Bus in Arizona.
Now we are adding an international component. The Physics Factory has made a grant for science education to the Friends of Suchana. for science education in Birbhum District in West Bengal, India, where less than 20% of the mothers went to school even for a day. Kirsty Milward--who lives there with her family--was kind enough to send some pictures from their latest Science Mela (Fair), below. She also sent these video of sciencetoymaker projects: hand and water prism.
We are also sending science toys/projects/exhibits directly to communities, including an effort to promote science education is South Sudan. All proceeds of foam and glider sales go directly to the Physics Factory and Physics Bus. Because most of the work of the Physics Factory is by volunteers, it's a very efficient way to promote science education.
Back to top