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Levers are an essential part of many mechanisms. They can be used to change the amount, the strength and the direction of movement. 
The position of the force and the load are interchangeable and by moving them to different points on the lever, different effects can be produced. The fixed point of the lever about which it moves is known as the fulcrum. In this example the force and the load move in opposite directions. With the force three times closer to the fulcrum them the load lifted is only one third of the force but it moves three times as far.

First order lever. Like a see-saw or balance, the load and the force are separated by the fulcrum. As one moves up the other moves down. The amount and the strength of the movement is proportional to the distance from the fulcrum


Second order lever. A wheel barrow is a second order lever. Here the load is between the force and the fulcrum. 

This uses mechanical advantage to ease lifting of a large weight. 

Third order lever.

Here the force is between the fulcrum and the load. Mechanical advantage is reduced but the movement at the load point is increased.


Anonymous (not verified)

please can you explain more than just 1 sentence 

thank you


Sure, what do you want to know?

Anonymous (not verified)

What are the 5 main mechanisms?



lever, linkages, grumpy, sleepy and salt & vinegar.


Anyone any idea?


Maybe the classical simple machines are meant:

    Wheel and axle
    Inclined plane

Anonymous (not verified)

are levers basically pivots or not?

Anonymous (not verified)

some examples of third order lever




Levers are beams that rotate about a pivot point.

Basically an arm on a hinge. 

Anonymous (not verified)

fishin rod is an example of a third class lever

Anonymous (not verified)

marry me rob!! i am in love with your drawings!! i love you!!

Anonymous (not verified)

oh rob i   love you to


And gears are just levers in a circle.

Nice find Smelter! - RI

Anonymous (not verified)

I learned a lot from this website. I didn't fail computer class even! How awesome is that!?

Very! - RI

Anonymous (not verified)

Rob Ives, do you specifically publish and generate everything on this website? If you do, I am awed. This web is amazing!

Yes I do :-) - RI



"lever, linkages, grumpy, sleepy and salt & vinegar.


Anyone any idea?"


Thats funny LOLOLOLO


Tired "teacher" joke. Northern England humour.

Anonymous (not verified)

no 1st class levers have pivots like a see-saw a pivot is a fulcrum

Anonymous (not verified)

does anybody know what mechanisms to look at to turn downward vertical force into lateral force?

Bell crank I reckon - RI

Anonymous (not verified)

In my knowledge flowing are the main 5 type of mechanisms,

1. Levers (Linkages)
2. Gears
3. Wheels and Axle
4. Wedges, Screw and Cam
5. Pulley

Anonymous (not verified)

i believe you meant "but it moveS three times as far." you put but it move

Thanks - correction made - RI


Anonymous (not verified)

This helped me like alot. It is like THE best website ever! I like science! me + science = FOREVER


   There are a few simple machines, the list is variable because some can be included in another's group. Wikipedia has a better explanation than I can come up with.



Here is one listing:

1 Lever
2 Wheel and axle
3 Pulley
4 Inclined plane
5 Wedge
6 Screw

   You could say that they are all a form of lever, if you give up the 'rigid arm' part of the definition. And a wedge is an inclined plane (or two), etc.


   I believe Rob has used every one of these in multiple creations, plus elaborations.

I think someone is taking a liberal definition of a machine.
An inclined plane, a wedge and a screw are single part objects, they don't do anything (move) unless combined with something else, and even then I wouldn't call them machines. Mechanisms possibly.

I agree with "Mechanisms" ... looking at an engineering textbook of sorts and it tells me that "Reuleaux's Six Mechanical Elements" are:

1. Levers and Cranks (such as is used to open a window).

2. Wheels and gears (such as that used to make a transformer).

3. Cams (such as that to open and close valves in automobile engines).

4. Screws (such as a worm gear connected to a motor shaft).

5. Things to transmit tension or compression (such as belts or chains used to drive the wheel of a motorcycle).

6. Things that transmit intermittent motion (such as the ratchet used in a clock mechanism).

Reference: Engineering Design, An Introduction, 2nd Edition  Karsnitz*O'Brien*Hutchinson ISBN-10: 1-111-64582-5

hugh jazz