Pneumatic K’nex Crane

This wasn’t actually meant to be a crane, I was supposed to be creating a robotic arm like on the ISS, but it worked so well, I wanted to share anyway.

K'nex Crane




Syringes and tubing

A small tub


Bean bags



Build a K’nex crane like in the picture above, the arm just need to be one long section. We used a hairband to attach one syringe to the crane and pipe cleaners to hang a small pot.

Attach the syringes as shown. When connecting the syringes up you need to make sure that one is fully extended as the other is compressed.



Find a way to stabilise the crane so it doesn’t fall over when you add weight.


We found mini bean bags worked really well!

K'nex Crane


You can see the crane in action here.

Can you improve on our design?

Learning Outcomes

Key Stage 1  – Design and Technology

Key stage 1  – Science – Working Scientifically

ELFS – ELG 16 – Exploring and using Media and Materials

Knex pneumatic crane

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