Introduction: Easy Hydraulic Machines

Picture of Easy Hydraulic Machines

In this Instructable, I'll to show you how to build many projects that use a simple hydraulic system that kids in elementary school can build. Each step will show you one of four machines that use the same basic mechanism.

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Please message me to report broken links. All of these materials are used in my other Instructables for kids, so your purchases can be used across multiple projects.

First thing's first: How to make a hydraulic system

Step 1: Simplest Machine

Picture of Simplest Machine

The video gives you an overview of the simplest hydraulic machine - the photos tell you how to build it! I've had kids as young as 1st grade build this project.

Step 2: Hydraulic Box

Picture of Hydraulic Box

The hydraulic box is more challenging to build.

Step 3: Hydraulic Drawbridge

Picture of Hydraulic Drawbridge

The hydraulic bridge project was originally conceived by a student named Daniel H.D. Thanks Daniel!

Step 4: Hydraulic Fortune Teller

Picture of Hydraulic Fortune Teller

The hydraulic fortune teller uses the same mechanics as the Judobot to achieve 3-dimensional movement, however this project is easier to build because it doesn't need to be thoroughly designed to battle. I like the idea of a fortune teller, but the face can be replaced with other things to create a variety of projects: a catapult arm, a serving basket, cannon.... be creative!

Difficulty: 5/5
Prep work: 4/5
Setup: 2/5
Cleanup: 2/5


RexProjex37 (author)2017-06-05

Thanks! This is gonna help me in my hydraulics proiect!

iiHyperbeam (author)2017-04-11

it works nice!

nflpanthersfan (author)2017-03-17

Great concept! :)

AdityaC60 (author)2017-02-18

How many cc is that syringe? Please reply as soon as possible!!!

LanceMakes (author)AdityaC602017-02-18

The syringes I use are 12ml, and filled to 10ml.

machari10 (author)2016-12-08

great for my hydraulic robotic arm project

hyperthermicr made it! (author)2014-07-30

very helpful will do in my science project

AnchalP (author)hyperthermicr2016-08-18

what i made spical robot hydrulic systemfor science project for kids of class 5

Bedebirch (author)2016-07-31

I love to watching this video

Shimaa Youssef made it! (author)2016-07-16

Simple and nice

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

dragon wind (author)2016-05-04

where do you get the cubes?

dragon wind (author)2016-05-04

we are doing this for a project too! long live projects!!!

#love of school

Dragon26011 (author)2016-03-31

I made this for my Physics project relating to Pressure and it came in handy! It was simple to make and yet demonstrates the topic in the most easiest way to understand. I took a wooden stick from my attic and sawed it to wooden blocks. Also, the Vinyl tubing didn't fit to the tip of the syringe, so I made a small slit at the end of it and the tube fit in! Thanks a bunch WYE_Lance!

sraoof (author)2015-10-06

can u tell me in what kind of shop do u get the cubes , stick and the vinyl tubing
please its urgent

subramaniant (author)2015-08-27

can i use bolts instead of cubes

RuthL3 (author)2015-07-24


I'm hoping to do this project, but I was hoping you could provide some specifications about the syringes and vinyl tubing. I see you used 10mL syringes, but what kind of tip do they have? And what size tubing did you use? The links provided aren't taking me to the right source. I want to be sure they'll fit together correctly.

Looks like an awesome project! Thanks for your help!

LanceMakes (author)RuthL32015-07-26

Hi, thanks for letting me know about the broken link. I fixed the materials link. You should get 10ml luer slip plastic syringes without needles, and 1/8" vinyl tubing. Have fun, and please post some pictures if you make any of these hydraulic machines!

kenzier (author)2015-02-18

when i made i made it, i kind of broke it!!! like that:


JasmineC5 (author)kenzier2015-05-08

Stop Being Smart

ToggleSwitch (author)kenzier2015-02-18

And you already said that

asingh115 (author)2013-07-23

it's amazing & helpful for my science project!!!!!!!!!!!

kenzier (author)asingh1152015-02-18

nice to know

Chikpeas Brother (author)2014-01-13

Very cool! This will be great for my students. :)

kenzier (author)Chikpeas Brother2015-02-18

students or "KIDS"?

kenzier (author)2015-02-18

when i made i made it, i kind of broke it!!! like that:


kenzier (author)2015-02-18

good enough

jv.32boncalos (author)2014-12-05

ozzypigg (author)2014-07-14

were do u get syringes?

Rabbia Arshad (author)2014-05-22

can anybody tell me what are those cubes made off in the first thing?

Those are just small wooden blocks. You can pick them up at any regular craft store.

mohesh (author)2013-11-30

very nice and easy projects

ahmedfaizan48 (author)2013-03-16

nice dude be nice

race1901 (author)2013-01-26

ultimate defender of my room from little bros

race1901 (author)2013-01-26

you should mount one of those cork shooters you make on this thing!!! 8D its so cool

al 01 (author)2012-12-21

cool and this is easy

british-ace (author)2012-12-20

Cool I will use one for a project! :)

Wareneutron (author)2012-11-10

very nice projects!

jessyratfink (author)2012-04-20

These are great! Love the videos. :D

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a writer, maker, and educator who's on a mission to better the world through hands-on engineering projects. Pledge on
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