Pulley Crane

Ages 9-16+

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Build a pulley system and experiment with mechanical advantage! Assemble a pulley-powered crane that can spin around, raise its arm, and lift loads. Then swap pulleys in and out to see first-hand how mechanical advantage makes it easier to lift things.

Includes a step-by-step video tutorial link, illustrated blueprint instructions, all the materials, and a special-edition Tinker Zine magazine to learn more about the power of pulleys and simple machines!


  • Build the crane body
  • Attach the crane arm
  • Add the hook


  • Pulleys
  • Mechanical Advantage
  • Ancient Machines

Using charter school funds?

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4 reviews

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  1. r r r r r

    Christa L, Sep 30, 2019


    this was a fun crate, my daughter liked it a lot!

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    Marilyn, Jun 2, 2019


    I loved how interactive this project was once the crane was completed. You could change the amount of pulleys on the crane for more versatility and was overall easy to assemble. A great tool to teach my child how a pulley system works and occupied him for hours as he experimented with different items around our house.

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    Wendy, Apr 12, 2019

    Great experiments

    This crate was super entertaining after completing the project. So many great experiments were possible -- my husband and son had so much fun doing different challenges seeing how heavy an item could be before the crane tipped over while lifting. My son was so proud of his accomplishment!

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    Daniel, Jan 11, 2019

    Crane mechanics

    The crane is quite sturdy and the instructions were very clear and easy to follow. This crate taught my son about the basics of crane mechanics -- this is a mechanical topic that does not come up normally so it was great to present an interesting scientific topic in a simple way for my child.

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