What is a machine? A brief overview of the different types of machines.

The definition of a machine is a set of mechanical parts that work together to perform some action. Machines can be as simple as an old fashioned lever or pulley, used to lift heavy objects, or as complex as an MRI scanner used by doctors to diagnose cancer. Machines are classified by what they do and how they do it. Below is a list of some different types of machines you might come across in your everyday life.


• Machine tools: A machine tool does one specific type of operation on pieces of metal, plastic, wood, stone or other materials. Machine tools range from small power hand tools like drills and saws to large industrial equipment like lathes, milling machines and grinders. • Mechanisms: Mechanisms have moving parts but no power source such as levers and pulleys which let us move things with our hands or a gravity powered pendulum clock with weights. Simple examples include door handles which use levers to open doors and locks that use rotary solenoids with long steel rods to actuate locking bolts.


A machine is a mechanical device that uses power to perform an intended action. Some machines are simple, like a nutcracker or toy train, while others are complex, like an airplane or car. Machines can be classified by the type of energy they use: human-powered machines (e.g., hand tools), animal-powered machines (e.g., horse), water-powered machines (e.g., waterwheel), wind-powered machines (e.g., sailboat), steam-powered machines (e.g., steam engine),


Electric-powered machines (e.g., electric drill) and nuclear powered machine (nuclear reactor). Machines can also be classified by how they work: input output devices, feed devices, storage devices, transportation devices and energy conversion devices