Glider-producing switch engine

The glider-producing switch engine (or glider-making switch engine) is a puffer that was found by Charles Corderman in the early 1970s. It consists of a switch engine reacting with blocks to produce various still lifes, several blinkers, and a glider every 384 generations.

Glider-producing switch engine
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Pattern type Puffer
Number of cells 123
Bounding box 67×60
Frequency class 21.0
Direction Diagonal
Period 384
Speed c/12
Discovered by Charles Corderman
Year of discovery 1971

Because of its easy construction (see its predecessors below), it has appeared in some superlinear growth patterns including mosquito 3.[1]


The glider-producing switch engine is the second most common naturally-occurring pattern that exhibits infinite growth, the most common being the block-laying switch engine. It is also the ninety-first most common object on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue.[2]

Time bomb

The time bomb (shown below) is a 17-cell pattern that was found by Doug Petrie that evolves into a glider-producing switch engine.[3]


Although clean synthesis of the glider-producing switch engine requires 4 gliders, Michael Simkin found a 3-glider collision in October 2014 which includes the puffer in its ash.[4] This collision has the minimum number of gliders necessary to exhibit infinite growth, and is the only known 3-glider collision to do so.

The debris left behind by the glider-producing switch engine
The time bomb is a predecessor of the glider-producing switch engine
RLE: here
Another simple predecessor of the glider-producing switch engine
Download RLE: click here


  1. "Mosquito 3". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver. Retrieved on June 1, 2009.
  2. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on June 24, 2016.
  3. "Time bomb". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver. Retrieved on May 16, 2009.
  4. Michael Simkin (October 24, 2014). Re: Making switch-engines (discussion thread) at the forums
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