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Levers. Simple Machines in Technical Theatre. Chip Haas – Technical Director, University of North Carolina Greensboro Drew Pritchard – Technical Direction Student, North Carolina School of the Arts. There are three classes of levers: Class 1, Class 2 & Class 3.

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simple machines in technical theatre

Levers

Simple Machines in Technical Theatre

Chip Haas – Technical Director, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Drew Pritchard – Technical Direction Student, North Carolina School of the Arts

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

slide2

There are three classes of levers: Class 1, Class 2 & Class 3.

All three classes have the same three components

1. Fulcrum (‘F’) – the pivot point

2. Load (‘L’) – some kind of weight or resistance

3. Effort (‘E’) – the force that is trying to move the load

The differences lie in the location of these components

Remember: ‘F’ always proceeds ‘E’, ‘L’ is the only part that moves.

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

slide3

Class 1 Lever – ‘LFE’

  • Fulcrum is located between the load and the effort
  • The longer the effort arm (D2), the less force necessary to move the load
  • Effort Arm(D2) / Resistance Arm (D1)= Load / Effort

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

common class 1 levers
Common Class 1 Levers

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

class 2 lever fle
Class 2 Lever – ‘FLE’
  • Fulcrum is located at one end and the effort is located at the other end of the lever
  • The load is situated somewhere between those two points.
  • The closer the load is to the fulcrum, the less force necessary to lift the load
  • Effort Arm(D1 + D2) / Resistance Arm (D1)= Load / Effort

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

common class 2 lever
Common Class 2 Lever

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

class 3 lever fel
Class 3 Lever – ‘FEL’
  • Fulcrum is located at one end and the load is located at the other end of the lever
  • The effort is situated somewhere between those two points.
  • This allows the load to be moved faster, however the effort must be greater than the load
  • Effort Arm (D1) / Resistance Arm (D1 + D2)= Load / Effort

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

common class 3 levers
Common Class 3 Levers

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

failed use of a class 1 lever
Failed Use of a Class 1 Lever

Pop Up Door – Down Position

Pop Up Door – Up Position

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

slide10

Problems with this attempt at a lever

  • Effort arm is shorter than the resistance arm
    • Made door even heavier to lift – solved using counterweights
    • Trapdoor platform behind effort arm prevented any extra length to the effort arm
  • Door Flat too close to end of resistance arm
    • Couldn’t move high enough – 9” too short
    • Angle of arm became too steep to keep raising door
    • Couldn’t extend resistance arm, not enough room
    • Couldn’t raise fulcrum – structural steel in the way
  • Door wasn’t heavy enough to come back down, unable to attach lever to pull the door down.

How was it solved?

- Made it even simpler – eliminated the lever - had crew member raise and

lower like a window

- Not quite as smooth – locking mechanism was kind of jury rigged

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

use of a class 2 lever fle
Use of a Class 2 Lever – ‘FLE’

Effort

Load

Fulcrum/ Pivot Point

  • Example presented is a pivoting wagon unit which is attached to a pivot point.
  • The pivot acts as a fulcrum, the scenery and people on the unit act as the weight, and the actor moving the unit acts as the effort.
  • When moved from the end opposite the fulcrum, it acts as a class 2 lever
  • Effort Arm(D1 + D2) / Resistance Arm (D1)= Load / Effort

USITT 2008 – Houston, Texas

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