When it comes to making paper models for prototyping or form inspiration purposes, rarely ever do we expect the final results to ever function as the final object – especially if it’s as complicated as an engine.

Yet, YouTube user Al Zh has defied the odds and has created what is likely one of the most impressive paper models you’ve ever seen – because the dang thing works!

Made entirely from paper – except for the scotch tape-reinforced pistons – Al Zh’s scale V6 engine model runs entirely on compressed air supplied by a balloon that’s been hooked up to a modified attachment.

To think how many people have difficulty opening a cereal box without tearing the top off – the final result is nothing short of impressive:

YouTube video

One can only wonder what would happen if we got Al Zh and Jude Pullen working together with stacks of paper in the same room. In the meantime, Al Zh has supplied a a GIF of the gas distributing mechanism scheme and Jude has supplied plenty of prototyping techniques and tutorials for those who may be interested in creating their own working paper engines.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.