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# What is a complex machine?

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A complex machine is a combination of two or more simple machines that work together, such as when a lever and a wheel and axle are combined to form a cart. There are many different possible iterations of complex machines, from staplers to wheelbarrows and skateboards.

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Credit: JD Hancock CC-BY 2.0

Simple machines are a group of six items (wheel and axle, pulley, screw, lever, wedge, and inclined plane) that can be combined to form a complex machine. A bicycle is an example of a complex machine because it involves the use of two wheels and axles. A dolly, or handcart, is another example, with a lever and wheel and axle being combined to help lift and move heavy loads. The term "complex machine" may be used interchangeably with "compound machine," which also refers to a group of multiple simple machines working together to make a more complicated mechanism.

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## Related Questions

• A:

Some examples of complex machines are cars, bicycles, can openers, a wheelbarrow, scissors and a stapler. A complex machine is also known as a compound machine, which consist of two or more simple machines, such as levers, wedges, pulleys, screws, wheel and axle and inclined planes.

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A lever is a basic machine people use to move a load around a pivot by applying force. Many common tools, such as scissors, pliers and tongs are types of levers.

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A lever, by definition, is a rigid bar that rotates around a fixed point. The fixed point is called a fulcrum. A lever is a simple machine, and its function is to use a force, called effort, to move a weight, called a load or resistance.