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Rob Ives is the creative genius and author behind our best-selling Build it, Make it series; a series full of moving models and engineering crafts. His most recent title, Build it, Make it Dinosaurs is set to be a bookshelf favourite for all dino fans.


A UK-based designer and paper engineer, Rob specialises in science projects; his published titles cover topics of force and motion, electricity, and biology, to name just a few.


HB Cov Origami.jpg


Where do you get your inspiration for the amazing automata that you make?

Most of my ideas are a juxtaposition of two or more things that I've seen in the day. I keep a notebook with me all the time and jot down ideas as they come to me.

Do you take your models into schools to inspire mini engineers of the future?

I've been lucky enough to work in schools quite a bit, both in the UK and abroad. It is always inspiring seeing the creativity young people bring to projects.


What do you love most about the work you do?
I live on a narrowboat, my work gives me so much freedom; some days I can be travelling and enjoying the countryside, other days I'll be working from dawn until late at night. I love it!

What was your first job? Was it related to the work that you do now?
I was a primary school teacher up until 2000, and my current work is still very education based. I think a lot of my website followers are teachers or educators.

What’s your favourite thing to do in your free time, outside of work?
I love to walk, travel, and explore. I enjoy photography, all forms of making things, woodwork, electronics, 3D modelling and so on. I basically make a living from what I love to do.

Did you like reading as a child? If so, do you have a favourite childhood book?

I've always been an avid reader right up to the current day. I think my favourite children's book of recent times is I Want My Hat Back by Alan Klassen which I enjoyed sharing with my nephew's son, I love the expressiveness of the illustrations.

Rob’s latest book with Hungry Tomato is the fantastic Build it, Make it Dinosaurs. Featuring 3D marvellous model-making activities, including QR codes to videos and downloadable templates, this fantastic new book brings amazing prehistoric creatures to life and provides little ones with hours of crafting fun.

To view more of Rob’s fantastic engineering models and automata, visit his website at 

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