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Project Information

Summary: The project we are doing is how an elevator works through a series
of pulleys. We are going to make a diagram of a mini elevator. We are going to
show how a weight and pulley system that make an elevator cart move up and

Soft ware tools: Microsoft word, dream weaver, paint

Hardware tools: Digital camera

Source of ideas:

Question: How does an elevator work through a series of pulleys?

Hypothesis: We think that an elevator works by something pulling in a certain

direction to move a cable, to move the elevator up of down. We think that the
elevator will swiftly glide through a series of pulleys.


 A sheet of Plywood
 6 long nails
 String
 Small weight
 Small cardboard box
 6 bolts
 Electric screwdriver
 Screw driver
 6 Spindles

Elevators are commonly used everyday to move people up and down tall
buildings. If you think about it, elevators are not that complex, actually they are
quite simple. They consist of a series of pulleys. There is a lift cage that is
connected to a pulley. Steel cables run through the pulleys and lift the cage up
and down.

A motor is used to move the lift cage. To move the lift cage up, the motor runs
in a direction that the cable wounds around the motor causing it to lift the
elevator cart. Elevators are made of sturdy steel and iron. Elevators work
mostly automatically. A few have a person who stands in the elevator cart and
operate it. The development of elevators led to the construction of skyscrapers.
There are two types of electric traction elevators, gearless traction and geared

The gearless traction elevator is used in office buildings with ten or more floors
and in residential buildings with more than 30 floors. A gearless traction
elevator can travel at a high speed, moving the elevator cart 400-3000 feet per
minute. One end of each cable is attached to the top of the car. The other end is
connected to a heavy steel counterweight that balances the weight of the car
and about half of its maximum passenger load.

A geared traction elevator travels at a high speed moving the elevator car 500
feet per minute. A geared traction elevator operates on a reduction gear. Some
elevators, called hydraulic elevators, are driven by a hydraulic system.
Hydraulic elevators are moved by a large steel bar instead of steel cables. A
geared traction elevator travels at a lower speed, moving the elevator cart 50-
150 feet per minute. A geared traction elevator is used in buildings that are six
stories or lower. The ram rises and lifts the elevator when an electric pump
forces oil into the ram cylinder. The elevator goes down when the oil flows out
and is transferred into the storage tank.

1. Attach the six

spindles to the sheet of
plywood as shown on

2. Poke two holes on

the top and bottom of
the box.

iagram #1

3. Pass the string

through the bottom two
holes of the box and tie
a knot.

4. Run the string under

spindles one, two,
three, and four.

iagram #2
5.Pull the string down
after spindle four and
put the string through
the hole on the top of
the box.

6. Then pull it out of

the other hole and tie a
knot. Keep on
following the steps and
you will be done your
homemade elevator...
agram #3
7. Keep passing the string through spindle five and spindle six.

8. Tie the weight to the den of the string and your elevator should look
like this.

Analysis: The elevator cart moves up and down because the string that is
attached on to the cart is running through a series of spindles and is connected
to a weight that moves up and down thus moving the elevator.

Observation: We observed that the elevator cart moves up and down when the
weight is pulled on or released. We also noticed that there was some friction on
the string and spindles as we pulled on the string.


An elevator has many parts and is made up of many simple machines. It is

moved up and down through a series of pulleys. So in conclusion the elevator is
complicated and simple at the same time.