How to make cascade lift

Hello, our team is planning on making a cascade lift for the high cap scoring however we never made a cascade lift before. Can anyone tell the basic rules and techniques of making a cascade lift? Thank you!

I have never built a cascade before, but I will say never use the steel vex rails to slide on. The Vex rails are most likely way too heavy to make it worth your while. You should make custom sliding mechanisms.

In addition to being too heavy, the plastic sliders will cause a lot of friction if kinked in certain directions. It works just fine if you put a rail straight through it without any bending whatsoever.

Look up 99371 on YouTube and you can find their ITZ cascade tutorial. They are probably the best cascade lift in VEX.

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If you are looking for a motor-saving, smaller, and more energy efficient lift(however only about 2/3 the speed of a normal two motor lift), I would recommend taking a look at the picture attached. Remember with cascade lifts, your biggest enemies are friction and gravity. PM me if you have any questions or want more detailed pictures of our mechanisms.

Does not having any gears make the chain have less friction?

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Precisely, the unpowered sprockets create friction on an axle through a pillow bearing, which is more than just a simple nylon spacer with graphite or other lubricants on the interior. Only one sprocket is necessary on any linear lift (cascading or continuous) and that is for driving the chain connected to the motor. By doing this, lifts can be made much smaller and more energy efficient. This becomes especially important this season while trying to save space for a ball launcher of any type.

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Not really, the most friction inducing part of a set of gears is the axles and/or the spacers being too tight between what supports the axle. Axles are something both Vex gears and sprockets require (unless you do some screw madness) so from what I can see, there is no real difference in friction between the two.

I thought you were trying to say something else, but anyway. It depends on what you do with the gears and what you do with the spacers. In general, no, not having any gears does not make the chain system have less friction, in some situations, it actually makes it worse. Do not ever use the small black spacers as tensionners or anything where the chain has force exerted over it. The black spacers get caught in the curve of the chain and getting them out creates a lot of strain on the system. You should only use white spacers if you are making the chain hold weight on top of the spacers(as seen in the picture). The white spacers perfectly match the curve in the chain length, so when the chain is wrapped around the spacers it is a nice easy fit. If you are able to support the shaft and get rid of friction on said shaft (round inserts, correct spacing, and have the shaft support close to where the weight is being pulled from) I would prefer the sprockets.

I hope this essay helps :slight_smile:

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