Advantages of a Wider Clamping Piece on a Pneumatic Clamp

So I’ve heard and seen in a couple places now that a wider clamping mechanism for a claw is better, but I can’t quite understand why. My logic when designing a clamp was that if I built a clamp with spacing that centered the goal automatically, having larger or more pieces clamping the goal would diffuse the force, resulting in an overall worse grip on the goal (this may be flawed logic, please tell me if so). However, I’ve noticed many top teams going for clamps with multiple anchoring points on the goal. Would someone be able to explain the advantages of designing it in this way?

the base of the clamp, as in the place where the lip of the goal rests, does benefit from having more contact, because it provides more support to the goal and can prevent it from sagging or potentially falling out. But on the clamp itself, you want it to center the goal as best it can, so having it be very narrow is actually beneficial, since that can force the goal to center when clamping. I see no good reason one would make the clamp wide compared to narrow.


Some teams (especially in my area) have chosen the route of a wide clamp, but with only 2 contact points. This design is very versatile and a lot of times they don’t even grab it with both contact points. But, it basically requires 2 pistons to work well. My team’s clamp uses a 3x c-channel and works well with one piston.


Does their clamp have any internal alignment system, or does is it only contacted by a lower bar and the clamp itself? My initial concerns about such a design are lack of stability and frequent mogo dropping; it would seemingly be very easy to steal a mogo from.

A curved lexan (edit: polycarb) piece is all you really need for alignment on a clamp.

We use a curved flat plate though, and that works great.

That didn’t quite answer my question. You said they used the clamp system because it gives them more versatility, but didn’t say whether they relied on an alignment system as well. I personally have used two spacer filled screws on the left and right to center the mogo under the clamp, admittedly with minimal testing. I dont think we would be able to fit much more in expansion. ignoring that tangent, are there any advantages besides this versatility?

Also, sidenote. What is the difference between Lexan and polycarb? im learning there are far more materials than I knew about

Lexan is the brand. Polycarbonate is the material.

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Sorry, both of these teams had polycarb/plastic sheet/idk the plastic stuff at the bottom structure of their claw to encircle part of the mogo and have a secure place for the outer septagon lip to rest on.

Can you expand on this a little bit?

I actually had no clue lexan was a brand, editing post now.

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These images are older versions of the clamp (we’ve altered it a decent bit since then) but they demonstrate the concept well enough. The spacers on screws are all aligned at heights where they contact round parts of the mogo (underneath base and upper lip) so there is always a uniform distance to the inner edge of the mogo. Then, the single point of application of power secures the mogo between the four supports. It had to lose a bit of it’s power in order to fit our intake, but it still works fairly well. original version was rock solid at 100 psi, i was unable to force the goal out my any means other than forcing the clamping piece up (and compressing the cylinder). Anyway, I hope that explains it.

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