Simple mechanisms explained

Below you’ll find animated diagrams and explanations of how various mechanisms work. Some of these have been crucial to major evolutions in mechanisms and technology, and allow us to do anything from fire weaponry to make cars move with the press of a pedal.

Maltese Cross mechanism powers second hand movement in the clock:


Radial engines are used in aircraft. Today, however, most aircraft use turbine engines:

radial engine

Reciprocating movements power steam engines in locomotives:


Sewing machine:


Manual transmission mechanism, also known as “stick shift” is used to change gears in vehicles:

Manual transmission mechanism

This mechanism is called constant-velocity joint and is used in front-wheel drive vehicles:

constant-velocity joint

Torpedo-boat destroyer system is used to destroy fleet in naval military operations:

Torpedo-boat destroyer system

The Wankel engine is a type of internal combustion engine which uses a rotary design to convert pressure into a rotating motion instead of using reciprocating pistons:

1. 2.

+ Bonus – mechanism you can watch forever

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