Making Cascade Lift

Our team may make a cascade lift, but we don’t know where to start. Any advice for making one? Thank you!

I will say that a cascade lift takes a lot of work and skill to get performing well, and in most cases you’re better off using a different kind of lift.

They do have their use as a compact, tall, perfectly linear lift, and in some niche cases they might do the job where a dr4b couldn’t.


This video was helpful for me, and the same channel has videos on many other lifts. I agree with @Xenon27 about using a different type of lift, for Tipping Point I would recommend a dr4b or a chainbar + 4bar combo


Take a look at some of the videos on our lifts. If you still have questions, PM me.

In these videos you will find what metal to use, what sprockets, what spacers and where to put them, and so on. The THEORY of it is discussed also… so you can learn… which is what this is all about.

Our team used this design 2 years ago and was able to score/descore cubes from the highest ‘cup’ in the center of the field in under 2 seconds.

Edit: I would recommend making the lift a litter wider and running dual chains. If one breaks… no big deal.

You NEED to set travel limits in your code to prevent breaking chains.


Includes an interactable cad of a robot with a cascade lift.

just dont
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Cascade lifts VS continuous chain lifts.


  1. does not have the chain on the final stage going back down to the chassis… less stuff to snag
  2. much higher chain tension
  3. all stages move together, so when one stage stops, they all stop

Continuous chain

  1. has chain from final stage going back down to chassis sprocket
  2. much less chain tension
  3. stages can move independently… easier to design and assemble
  4. can run multiple motors for increased speed without fear of breaking chains due to tension being too high

Teams I’ve been involved with have used both types. Short answer: I would always run CC unless I had no other option. Cascade puts much more stress on chains, zip ties, and other points of attachment.


Thank Trip. I have a partner project in class and we need to make a cascade lift. We are beginners and this video is very helpful. :blush:

Even though you have good intentions, please don’t revive threads that haven’t been active for 2-3 months. @DRow , @jpearman please close this thread when you have the time.