3 Motor Puncher/Piston Help

I know its late in the season. And well i’m apart of a worlds team. But as i am new to the game and to EDR i built my own robot and am still building. I have a transmission with 3 speed motors for a short to midfield quick shot. but my problem is with the puncher. I’ve researched punchers a lot and have tried about everything. 2R’s puncher has the exact thing i have. a 3 speed, motors, except i put about 4-5 #64 rubber bands on and it wasn’t enough torque. It shot about 6ft instead of 12 and i need help. the rails and slider are extremely smooth and are connect well. so I ended up putting a 12 tooth to a 36 tooth gear for torque and it helps, it shot about 10 ft and was slower than what i need. it shot around 1 ball ever .8 seconds. and without the torque gears it shot 2 balls per second. Need advice and don’t know what to try next, tell me your opinion.

I’m moving this in to the general forum as the question is not specific to ROBOTC and you will get more feedback there. Perhaps post pictures of what you have built so far and it will be easier for everyone to comment.

When friction is not an issue, it usually only boils down to the way that the piston connects with the ball (the punch) and the angle of the puncher.

The ideal angle for a puncher is 45 degrees. However, given that you are shooting mid to front, there is a little more leeway especially if you are still low on distance after everything I will mention below.

The way that the piston punches - teams generally use standoffs to hold a ball in place for punching. The very first thing you should do before trying ANYTHING else is moving these one or two holes down or up the c-channel and note the optimal distance reached. This is the difference between a midfield shot and a backfield shot with all else equal (motor power and rubber bandage).

The last thing besides these two things that I can think of are structural soundness and shock absorbance. They go hand in hand really. Punchers may generally be put on the sides of a robot or even 90 degrees of the drive - whatever your configuration, you have probably noticed a slight ‘jump’ or kickback after every shot. This is less noticeable in a front/mid puncher, but this needs to be reduced as much as possible as a priority. The more the robot moves, the less energy is being transferred from the release into the ball. This is also why you should not ‘dry punch’ (punch without a ball) - the energy just goes into the stopping mechanism and weakens it, especially if you are just using nylon locks.

Use padding wherever applicable and generally make it so that the thing does not and cannot move. If you can hear the punch of the ball over the puncher recoiling, you’re doing it right.

Other than this, I’d be willing to be more specific if you can include pics and a better description. Good Luck!