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Catherine Wayte

Primary School

Design Technology - Moving Toys and Cam Mechanisms

In this unit of work, pupils investigated cam mechanisms and how they convert rotary movement into linear movement.  Then, they designed their own moving toy based on a theme of Victorian inventions.  When making their toy, pupils had to measure accurately and cut the dowel with a saw to make the axle and slider.  After that, they needed to build the frame structure and then put together the internal mechanism, making sure they lined up the cam and the follower.

We encountered a couple of problems and had to think of how to solve them.  Firsly, the cams kept slipping on the axle and the followers were not securely attached to the slider.  As a result, we secured the cam and follower with a hot glue gun (an adult did this!).  Secondly, our backgrounds would not stand up so backed them onto cardboard, folded a flap underneath and stuck it with sellotape front and back and this helped the background to stand up without support.

The final toys looked impressive and the cam mechanisms actually worked!