How Do You Build A Crank And Slider Mechanism?

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A crank and slider is a common, simple mechanism used to convert rotational motion into reciprocating linear motion, or motion that goes back and forth along a straight line. Familiar examples are the piston and crankshaft on a locomotive or in a car engine. A simple, working model can be built out of household materials, wood, or metal. • Choose materials. This example will use cardboard and wire, since just about anybody can readily obtain and cut them, but a sturdier or more attractive model could use balsa wood, Popsicle sticks, wood, stiff craft foam, metal, or found materials such as a container lid. Choose materials according to what you can find and whether you can work with them easily. • Create a base. The base simply supports the other mechanism parts and provides pivot points for the rotating members. In this cardboard model, a large sheet of cardboard cut from the side of a cereal box will serve as the base. • Cut out the crank. The crank needs two pivot points. They may ... more
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