Simple low-friction linear slider/ lift

Back in the 2017-18 season, I designed a simple linear lift/ slider for my team. We didn’t want to spend time cutting parts or wait for new parts to arrive, so we decided to use a combination of lock and keps nuts to hold the c-channels in place. Surprisingly, this design worked really well and we didn’t have any problems with friction. Feel free to ask any question or use this design in your robot.


and here is a thinner design:


Is that the same as this:

I built something pretty much identical to this in Turning Point. The chain kept on slipping, and it had a lot of issues.


It worked perfectly on my team’s In The Zone robot. Without it, we would have never made it to state. It’s hard to see in the picture, but we doubled up the chain for redundancy. So it might be why we didn’t really have any problems.

This is really nice, though I think this would work better with free spinning spacers because they are perfectly smooth and circular.

No, not really. The lift in the video appears to be a continuous lift while the one that my team used for In The Zone was a cascade. They also used spacers instead of lock nuts and keps nuts. They also don’t have any redundancy so they are more prone to slippage.


It’s been a few years since In The Zone, but, if I remember correctly, the spacers were either too thin (black) or too thick (white). We didn’t have any problems with the slider getting stuck or any other problems from the nuts so we didn’t waste any time ordering new parts to shave down/ cut.

This could be solved in various ways by either a) ordering smaller diameter spacers b) make your own with a lathe, or possibly sanding it down manually. I say this because I’ve seen people with custom slides using smaller white spacers.

It wasn’t really a problem. It turned out that the flat side of lock nuts work perfectly well. Not only did this save us time, it saved us money because we didn’t have to buy any new parts to make something work no better than it does with lock nuts.