Archimedes Screw


Project Brief:

Ever wondered how people used to pump water to elevated surfaces without the use of motors? Once there was an inventor named Archimedes, he visited Egypt and saw that people actually carry water with themselves in a tank to a certain elevation. Archimedes started creating a device that consisted of a lever and a screw that could transport water from low lying areas to higher elevation. The people of Egypt named that device as “The Archimedes Screw” is a screw designed to lift liquids from one level to another. Put in simple terms, it’s a “pump” and in this activity we will be designing our own screw to understand the screw’s functionality.

Learning Objectives:

  • Converting rotary motion to linear motion.

  • Conversion of energy

  • Lever mechanisms

  • Students will be able to identify simple machines

  • Understanding of design parameters effect on performance

  • Will understand how civilizations moved water throughout the centuries

Procedure and Assembly:

  • Introduce the students to the Archimedes screw from the story on how it originated.

  • Mention the different applications of Archimedes screw?

  • Show them certain videos to explain the proper working

  • For the working assembly, assemble the 2 base and screw with levers.

  • Make a setup containing 3 bowls at 3 different elevations.

  • Now add water to only the 1st bowl at the lowest elevation (Ground).

  • Run the screw and show everyone how water is being transported to uppermost bowl.

  • Repeat the same activity to give a hands on experience to the students.

Design Evaluating Parameters:

  • Make sure the screw is perfectly inclined in a line as there is no angular deflection in the 2 joining screws.

  • Same goes with the base as make sure the bases are attached without any angular deflection.

  • Make sure there is no leakage at the junction of 2 bases.

  • Make sure the lever has enough space around for free rotation

Discussion with students:

  • Ask students how the flow rate will change with the change of angles.

  • Ask them if the screw can work at 0 degrees.

  • Ask students can the reverse of archimedes screw be possible, like running a generator with the flow of water.

  • Ask students how can they optimize the design on the basis of videos shown.

  • Ask them to suggest ways as how to increase the mass flow.

  • Ask them can the machine work at 90 degrees.

  • Mention the different shapes and sizes of the screw required for different applications

  • Ask students what is rotary and lateral motion

  • Ask students to suggest all the possible solutions to change rotary motion to lateral and vice - versa

  • Ask students the different ways by which they can transport water from lower grounds to higher/elevated grounds.

  • Ask students how change in angle can change the value of forces and velocity.

    Design Files

    File Size

    Base End 1.STL
    11 KB
    Base End 2.STL
    10.6 KB
    Lever Extension.STL
    684 Bytes
    16.6 KB
    370 KB
    272 KB
    261 KB
    Semicircular Base.STL
    13.8 KB
    Archimedes Screw.PDF
    122 KB


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