When Belarusian engineer Aliaksei Zholner holds up the tiny plastic container at the beginning of this video, it’s hard to believe what he pulls from inside. He’s built an incredibly miniature V8 car engine that functions almost like the real thing. The only thing that isn’t paper is a tiny bit of scotch tape to eliminate friction on the valves… yes this motor measuring just 32 x 24 x 27 mm (1.26 x 0.94 x 1.06 inches) has working valves:
Because you obviously don’t pour gasoline into his flammable recreation, Zholner powers the engine using a tube and a balloon filled with air. As the air blows through, the entire engine turns, cycling through revolutions just like the real thing. (If you’re not quite clear on how a car engine works, see Jacob O’Neil’s fantastic animated infographic).
Do check out the rest of Aliaksei Zholner’s YouTube channel, where he’s been sharing an great selection of things he’s built–and not just from paper. If paper IS your thing, get a look at Luca Iaconi-Stewart’s Boeing 777 built from manila folders. Jaw dropping.