Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Low Friction Linear Slide


Entry ID #: 4813
Created: Tue, Jan 9, 2018 3:31 PM

In this year’s “In the Zone” competition, one of the main functions of the robot is to stack cones onto mobile goals. In order to do so, the robot requires vertical maneuverability that comes with an addition of a lift subsystem. Our team decided to use a scissors lift after thorough analysis of different lift systems. We had used VEX steel sliders and rails in our storage, but the different tightness in the joints of the scissors lift and slightly different widths in the bottom and top of the scissors lift due to the availability of the square holes created a lot of friction between the sliders and rails that eventually led to grinding between steel parts. This caused both sides of the scissors lift to go up and down unevenly.


The team was aware that VEX also sells Linear Motion Kit, but as we had only one week until the next competition, we had to build our own linear slides. Our new linear slides consist of plastic spacers as rolling wheels between two aluminum c-channels. The different materials of the parts create smooth sliding and low friction that even with variable differences in the two scissors, vertical motion is not affected too noticeably to produce unevenness in the lift.


Using Autodesk Fusion 360, we were able to anticipate how the newly designed linear slides will affect the construction of other subsystems on the robot and quickly make the necessary changes before making physical changes to the robot. In addition, the visual aid of 3D sketching helped communicate ideas better within the team and accelerate the pace of which replication of the system can be built. Through this experience of using 3D design software, the team has learned that using 3D sketching will help individuals and teams better plan their ideas and designs as well as help them foresee flaws in their design before physically implementing the ideas. This will pave way for faster manufacturing and testing systems.


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