Simple Machine

By: Kyle Washington


  • Pulleys are wheels and axles with a groove around the outside.
  • A pulley needs a rope, chain or belt around the groove to make it do work.


  • Common examples of first-class levers include crowbars, scissors, pliers, tin snips and seesaws.

Wheel and axel

  • The axle is stuck rigidly to a large to a large wheel. Fan blades are attached to the wheel. When the axle turns, the fan blades spin.
  • In the wheel and axle illustrated above, the radius of the wheel is five times larger than the radius of the axle.


  • The screw is an inclined plane wound around a central cylinder.

Inclined Plane

The Egyptians used simple machines to build the pyramids. One method was to build a very long incline out of dirt that rose upward to the top of the pyramid very gently. The blocks of stone were placed on large logs and pushed slowly up the long, gentle inclined plane to the top of the pyramid.


  • Two inclined planes joined back to back.
  • Wedges are used to split things.