Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Chain Tensioner


Entry ID #: 4748
Created: Tue, Jan 9, 2018 11:03 AM

If I could have any component for my robot that was not included in a Vex parts kit, it would be a chain tensioner. Our team, as well as many others that compete in Vex EDR competitions have encountered the problem of a chain either being too tight or too loose. In order for that particular system with the chain to work at all, it has to be too loose, otherwise the friction is too great for the motors to overcome.   Obviously we, as well as other teams, have come up with our own tensioner solution that work okay, but they tend to get in the way of other systems that were planned. If vex made a tensioner that was able to stay out of the way of other systems, it would make a lot of people’s lives better. Without a tensioner on a loose chain, it will slip at high speeds.   With the provided parts, the tensionsers that students come up with also are not easily adjustable. However, with the solution that we have provided, that makes adjusting the tension easy and possible. Using a couple of these tensioners could also mean that if you needed to fit anything underneath the chain, you could. It also doesn’t matter what length shaft is in between the adjustable towers, and the shaft is able to spin in case a gear is needed there, so the tensioner is very versatile. We used Autodesk Inventor Professional 2018 to create a 3D model of our chain tensioner. We mostly used the "Extrude" and "Fillet" tools to create our design, and we also incorporated VED EDR parts, such as screws, nuts, and shafts, using the CAD files provided by VEX.  In conclusion, we learned many ways of creating a VEX EDR style chain tensioner while designing ours. We have, and will continue to, use Autodesk Inventor on our robotics team to model different iterations of our competition robots. These models of our robot allow judges and other people to see our past and current subsystems of our robot all within our engineers notebook, which helps them get an idea for our robot before they even see it. Learnign 3D design software will help all of us in our career paths because we all want to become engineers, and creating 3D desgins is a huge part of designing and prototyping new objects, and it is almost necessary in the engineering field. 

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