Archimedean screw: what is it and how to build one at home

In this new guide you will learn what a Archimedes screw, its working principle to know how it does it, as well as everything you need to build your own screw cheaply and with materials that you can easily find.

The aim of this project can be both simply educational, to learn about it, or also to use this Archimedean screw with a practical end to move water from one level to another, etc. The truth is that the applications are very numerous ...

What is the Archimedean screw?

El Archimedes screw It is a simple machine that consists of a helical gravimetric system to raise water or other substances from one level to a higher one. Its name comes from the fact that it was invented in the XNUMXrd century BC by Archimedes. Some hypotheses suggest that this type of system was used in Ancient Egypt, therefore it would be earlier.

El design This type of Archimedean screw can vary, but it basically consists of a helical surface that surrounds a cylinder within a tube. The rotary movement achieved through a mill or a motor allows any material to be lifted through it.

So during the turn, the liquid, grain, dust, or whatever it transports, will go from section to section of the propeller so that it reaches where it is intended.


Archimedes screw, applications

Formerly it was used mainly for move dammed water to supply people or for irrigation systems. An efficient way to transport water from one place to another with the means of the time, whether it was driven by beasts, windmills, water, etc.

In addition to irrigation in agriculture, little by little it has been used to other purposes. For example, to move grains or flours, and other powders or grains, in factories, for emptying grain from hoppers and silos, in wastewater treatment systems in sewage plants, etc.

For your projects, could be a good substitute for Water Pump...

How to build an Archimedean screw

Build a homemade Archimedean screw it is not a difficult task. It will suffice to use a propeller inside a tube or by making use of a flexible tube wound around a helix-shaped shaft. This is up to you. In the previous images you have both systems to get an idea.

For example, to build a simple one using the flexible tube method (which may be the easiest to do at home), you would use the following materials:

  • A wooden or metal shaft.
  • A crank for the axle, or you can also substitute the crank for another drive mechanism, such as an electric motor.
  • A flexible plastic tube or piece of hose. Better if it is transparent so that you can appreciate the advance of the water or whatever. This will make it easier to show how it works in educational settings.
  • 2 containers, one to catch the water or element, and another to release it.
  • A support. You can make it from any material, such as wooden slats, 3D printed, etc.
  • Glue.

To to assemble our Achilles screw, you just have to follow these steps:

  1. Attach the axle you are going to use and the drive mechanism you have chosen to a bracket. It should be inclined, although you could also do it flat. It works anyway.
  2. Around this axis you will wrap a flexible plastic tube in the shape of a helix, as if you were trying to carve a groove in a screw. It must be adhered using some type of glue.
  3. Now everything would be ready for you to try it with some liquid or whatever. By operating the crank or the propulsion method, the lower end of the tube should introduce water into it and with the turn make it jump from section to section until it reaches the other end ...

Can I buy it?

archimedean screw Amazon

If you prefer, you can also buy it already made. Something that will save you time and guarantee you have one of these Archimedean screws ready to use for whatever you want or just for educational purposes to display in a classroom. If you want a cheap one that gets the job done, here's this example from Amazon:

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