Elevator lift help

Hey sorry if this has been asked already, but I’ve been working on elevator lift prototypes and I was wondering a few things.

What are the best ways to keep the lift from leaning?
What are some good tips and tricks to think about when building this lift?
How well should the lift function without lubrication?
What is the best way to attatch the chain to the uppermost tier? (I’ve just been bolting the chain to a small piece of metal then to the c channel.)
Is a four tiered lift feasible?

Thanks for any help. I can post pictures of my newest prototype soon if needed.

Good build quality.

Have you seen this thread?
tripple lift preview

If your build quality is high you shouldn’t need much (if any) lubrication. Which slides are you using?

It depends on the lift.


Pics would allow answers specific to your design.

Yes, I have seen the thread and also have seen your smugmug posts.

I am using the new linear slides.

What do you mean it depends on the lift? As in the build design of the elevator lift?

I’ll post pictures Asap tomorrow.

It depends on whether it’s a cascade or continuous lift and how the chain is routed through the stages. You want to attach the chain so it pulls most efficiently. In my case I wanted the chain to be as vertical as possible, I used a single screw through a chain link, the chain was spaced by about 1/4 inch from the structure. It took some time to find the optimum place for this. When the lift is near upper or lower limits the attachment point is close to the sprockets, if it’s too close the chain tension changes. Anyway, my point is that it depends on exactly how you have built the lift.

You should try to keep a 20% overlap when the lift is raised all the way. In other words make sure that the slides have enough support when they are fully raised to keep them from leaning.

We used one of the tank tread links with the 2 holed in it on either side to mount the chain to the top tier. The pieces i am talking about are in the Hs sprocket and chain kit.

Another trick to prevent problems is to make sure not to bend the 2 prongs of the chain apart before or while connecting it. This helps to prevent the chain detaching while in use. I usually pinched the prongs on the chain i was connecting together just a little bit before i connected them. This helped to make sure that connection was as tight as possible. Just make sure not to bend it too much and fatigue the plastic which could also cause it to break.

I would also make sure that the lift slides freely before putting the chain on and i would also make sure that the lift operates smoothy when the chain is on but the motors are disconnected. This will make sure that the lift is as efficient as possible.

It is also important to make sure that the chain has the correct tension. The chain seems to stretch a bit on these lifts so make sure to periodically check the tension to make sure that it has not stretched. It might not actually be the chain stretching, but more the chain redistributing around the different sprockets if that makes sense.

Any other questions just ask. I have played with these a lot. You can pm me too. I am going off to college and would love to help. I miss building robots.

Here are some pics.

Here are some more…

Annnnnddd one more…

Most of the leaning is due to the unstable base I just threw together really quick to keep the sprockets off the ground. However it does still lean a bit

Don’t use a single plastic slide per stage. Use the outer and inner slides in pairs, the way they’re meant to be used.

A lot of the lean looks like it is coming from the continuous chain pulling down on the top section. Either decrease the space between stages to put the downward chain closer to the base tier, or change the lift type from continuous to cascade (or even just change the way the chain is run through the lift)

Ok thanks I’ll try the stuff you’ve all pointed out when I build a new version of my lift today.

And I’d rather not change to cascade because of the higher torque requirements.

Number of issues with this design

You start with your stage one, fixed section at an angle. Looks like you were probably trying to compensate for the lift leaning forward from the start, but this isn’t the (best) way to fix it.

The support that stage 2 slides in (top of first stage) needs to be square, it looks like it is causing stage 2 to lean forwards. Using the 2 inch standoffs isn’t helping, there’s going to be a lot of stress on that piece and it needs some substantial structure to hold it in the correct geometry.

Same problem on the stage 2 slider support.

Using a single slide truck is only supporting the slide over 2 inches. Use the technique JoeG recommends to double them up in the way I did.

Try and make the lift more compact. shorten the standoffs, have less distance between the slides and the chain.

One other major issue for the finally design, you are way over 18 inches.

I would also recommend placing all of the chain pulling gears on the bottom as close to the structure as possible, if the chain does not pull straight it can cause a huge lean like that, try getting the chain as straight as possible and it should induce a straighter lift.

Ok. I took all of the advice and made a new iteration. It has much much less leaning. I used two trucks per stage and compacted it which helped out immensely. I’ve got a few more things to fix up on it, then I can post a few pictures of it later. :slight_smile: