We present a novel type of longitudinal Zeeman slower. The magnetic field profile is generated by a 3D array of permanent spherical magnets, which are self-assembled into a stable structure. The simplicity and stability of the design make it quick to assemble and inexpensive. In addition, as with other permanent magnet slowers, no electrical current or water cooling is required. We describe the theory, assembly, and testing of this new design. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.