WALKALONG GLIDER AND FOAM STORE

A NOTE ABOUT PAYPAL/PAYMENT: I use embedded PayPal buttons for customer convenience and security. Security has been perfect and convenience mostly so. Occasionally, however, people are not able to complete transactions and it's frustrating because PayPal does not automatically explain why. You can contact PayPal directly and ask. So, for example, a gentleman from Singapore could not complete an order. He contacted PayPal in Singapore and learned that by law one cannot send money via P.P. to a non-profit outside of the country (proceeds from these foam glider sales go directly to the non-profit education organization, the Physics Factory). Another person inside the United States could not complete an order and found that to use a credit card associated with an existing PayPal account, that she must sign into PayPal to complete the transaction.
In any case, please also feel free to contact me to figure out a workaround that works best for you; we can arrange payment by invoice, purchase order, check (must be made out to Physics Factory), etc.
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.
Contact.
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.

   

$6.50(includes postage) STARTER

  $12 READY TO FLY FLEET   $22 BULK 100

 

   
$14 RTF FLEET, ASIAN FOAM   $24 SHAPE-CUT SHEETS   $25 MASS PRODUCTION

FOR ADVANCED PILOTS: (not pictured, but click on the text to go directly to full description): **HIGH-VOLUME FOAM PURCHASES (20% discounted and postage saving); **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.

NOTES BEFORE ORDERING!
**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

$ $6.50 and $7.50 (includes postage) STARTER GLIDERS BY ENVELOPE

3 ARF (almost ready-to-fly) gliders (2 made from Asian foam {just one front wire}; 1 made from North American foam {2 front wires} plus 2 slices of N.A. foam to make your own gliders from.
The gliders are already made, then flattened to fit the protected envelope. A few re-bends and you're ready to fly. Video and printable instructions for getting the gliders flight-ready are here. Please read the following details about envelopes and sorting machines: We pay extra postage for hand-sorting and there is is thin cardboard on both sides of the foam for protection. However, sometimes the envelope might get run through sorting machines anyhow--particularly international orders. The trials I conducted seemed to show that the only problem was static electrical charge--resulting in static cling--to the 2 outside rectangular foam sheets (especially in dry, low humidity weather). That is easy to fix just by holding the affected foam in the "steam" (actually water vapor) over a container of very hot water. Unlike paper, they will not warp. But it seems that some sorting machines are quite brutal, squeezing the gliders so that they are only half as thick as they are supposed to be. So even if the gliders are not obviously torn or bent, they might not be very stiff. In hundreds of orders I am only aware of this happening one time (an out-of-date address provided, the envelope was sent back and I opened/tested/flew it) but I do not want your first experience with walkalong gliders to be frustrating. I think that the right thing to do is: 1.) acknowledge the potential problem; 2.) encourage you to send gliders and foam back if you are not successful with flying, for a full refund (money-back-guarantee applies to all products, by the way); and 3.) ask for your feedback about your experience with the envelope gliders.
Contact me, Slater


U.S. customers: $6.50 USD which includes the postage.
International Customers: $7.50 USD which includes postage to anywhere in the world.

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$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.
Tips about
teaching groups to fly air-surf gliders.
Read these notes before ordering

U.S. customers: $12 USD + $4 flat-rate shipping (even for multiple orders gliders are sent in a single box).
International customers: $12 USD + $13.50 flat-rate shipping (no additional shipping cost if you buy more gliders--gliders are sent in one box). $13.50 is our actual minimum cost that we pay for postage up to 8 ounces (227 grams). This is 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.

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$22 BULK 100 FOAM

100 sheets of foam and 1 ready-to-fly glider

There are few science projects that give students a high-quality, hands-on experience at only 22 cents per student. See these important tips about teaching groups to fly air-surf gliders. Note that sheets are even less expensive per sheet if you team up with others and can buy 1000 at a time (see advanced section). Does not include front weights for the sheets; more about front weight. Read these notes before ordering

U.S. customers: $22 USD + $4 flat-rate shipping.

International customers: $22 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.

Quantity:

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$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.

10 Ready-to-fly 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 only have one front wire weight instead of two. 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. For advanced experimenters there is special-order plain blocks and sheets of TWA foam if you

 

U.S. customers: $14 USD + $4 flat-rate shipping ( even for multiple orders gliders are sent in a single box).
International customers: $14 USD+ $13.50 flat-rate shipping (no additional shipping cost if you buy more gliders--gliders are sent in a single box). $13.50 is our actual minimum cost that we pay for postage up to 8 ounces (227 grams). By default we use the least expensive shipping method and IT IS SLOW! More about international postage--delivery time, cost, etc.--is here. If possible, please provide a telephone number in the PayPal page for if there is a delivery problem.

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$24 SHAPE-CUT FOAM 100 (for the MASS PRODUCTION KIT above)

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 use the mass-production kit to quickly fold these shape-cut foam sheets. Make sure that you have decided how you will fold them before you order shape-cut foam. Does not include front weights--more about. Shape-cut foam is also available in boxes of 1500; contact for pricing.

U.S. customers: $24 USD + $4 flat-rate shipping.

International customers: $24 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.

Quantity:

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$25 MASS PRODUCTION KIT (requires SHAPE CUT foam above)

1 camber bending jig; 1 elevon bending jig; 1 straight edge; one tape cut jig.
See how the Mass Production Kit works in this video. These are the devices I use to make hundreds of ready-to-fly gliders every month, quickly and precisely. They are made of recycled thin cardboard. I've made thousands of gliders with mine and it's still as good as new. I put a lot of care into engineering the design and accurately cutting the parts so the gliders are folded perfectly, with little or no adjusting needed. Note that this mass production kit needs foam that is already cut to shape (sold below or cut your own) before you can bend it with the jigs. Go here if you would rather make your own bending jigs rather than buying them.

 

 

U.S. customers: $25 USD + $5 flat-rate shipping—no additional shipping if you order more than one.
International customers: $25 USD + $13.50 for shipping (our actual cost). By default we use the least expensive shipping method and IT IS SLOW! If possible, please provide a telephone number in the PayPal page for if there is a delivery problem. More about international postage--delivery time, cost, etc.--is here.
Quantity:

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OTHER PRODUCTS

$176 BULK 1000 FOAM (20% discounted compared to buying 100 sheets at a time)

1000 sheets of foam at less than 18 cents per sheet
For organizations using lots of foam, or if you can band together with other people, you can save a lot compared to the cost of buying 100 sheets at a time. These are rectangular sheets. Tips about teaching groups to fly air-surf gliders here. Front weights not included--more about front weight. I generally put a couple of ready-to-fly gliders in the bit of space at the top of the box. But it is also possible to add 250 more sheets in that space (total 1250 sheets), prorated but no additional cost for shipping, if you prefer. Contact me and we can send an invoice.

U.S. customers: $176 USD + $14 insured shipping per box.

International customers: $176 USD and shipping cost depends on the country. Contact me and we will find the actual cost of shipping and can send a PayPal invoice.

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$25 CUT YOUR OWN FOAM KIT
Watch the video and read about how to use the kit.
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.
 

U.S. customers: $25 USD + $4 flat-rate shipping.
International customers: $25 USD + $13.50 shipping. By default we use the least expensive shipping method and IT IS SLOW! More about international postage--delivery time, cost, etc.--is here. If possible, please provide a telephone number in the PayPal page for if there is a delivery problem.

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$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.

U.S. customers: $10 USD + $4 flat-rate shipping.

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.

Quantity

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$? 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.

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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.

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