AMB Design Spreadsheet v4

After a lot of effort working on improvements, I’m proud to release the newest version of the AMB Design Spreadsheet. You can download it here:


With version 4.1 the user interface has gone through a complete redesign, with a high importance placed on the user experience. Now instead of having one copy of each calculator in the spreadsheet, you can have as many copies of each as you want. This way you can have one master spreadsheet for the whole robot, with separate calculators for each mechanism.

The new version also features three new calculators: Lead Screw, Beam Bend, and Pneumatic Linkage. Use the Lead Screw Calculator on its own to find the torque needed to lift a load with a certain leadscrew, or in combination with the Mechanism Ratio Calculator for gearboxes connected to lead screw outputs. Use the Beam Bend Calculator to determine how much a frame member, manipulator, or axle will deform under different loads. Use the Pneumatic Linkage Calculator to help find the correct geometry to stow and deploy an intake with a pneumatic cylinder. I decided to remove the Sprint Distance Calculator from this version of the spreadsheet due to questionable accuracy and programming bugs. If you need a similar calculator, I recommend ILITE’s Drive Train Simulator.

As always, I’d love to hear people’s comments, questions, and concerns. I can help answer questions on how to use the spreadsheet for anyone confused, and try to explain how it works for people interested in learning how the equations are devloped. If you find a bug, have ideas for improvements, or want to suggest a new calculator, you can send that my way too and I will try to work on it. You can reply to this thread, send me a PM, or send an email to arimb1999 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you don’t have anything to ask/suggest and just want to let me know you’re making good use of the sheet, I love hearing that too.


For some weird reason the link dosen’t work.
thanks for sharing anyway!

Weird. Try again, it should work now

It works now, thanks!

Wow. When I saw you needed beta testers, I wondered what could possibly change that you would require beta testers. This is beyond what I imagined and I absolutely love it. Many thanks from me and team 6897!!

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I’m curious. When I was originally designing this spreadsheet I decided not to include the equations behind the various calculations because I didn’t want to clutter the screen or scare anyone away. If people wanted to learn how the calculations worked, they can look at the underlying excel formulas or post here with questions. But I understand some people would rather have the equations listed on each page so they can learn why the calculations work. I do see the teaching potential there. What do you the people think?

  • Include all the equations
  • Include some of the equations
  • Don’t include equations

0 voters

I’d also love to hear if anyone has ideas for how to include the equations without cluttering the screen or scaring people away.

I think it also depends on how you include the equations because for those of us who have done Mech E, it’s not useful if it’s just the equation there. We’d also require some sort of explanation so we can actually understand what’s going on.

Yeah it wouldn’t just be the equations, it would also have to include an explanation of each of the variables and the reasoning behind the equation (basically a derivation). That’s why my initial thought was that it would make the sheets too cluttered.

Maybe if you did something where like you type a value in one cell and it brings up the equations and deleting value hides them. You did similar things on other parts so could be a solution.

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Thanks for doing this! You could also add a sort of “Read me” page that explains everything to make it a tutorial and educational tool as well as a functional tool.

That’d be a lot, but I know that I would use it to teach the team.

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I could see having another sheet in the spreadsheet labeled as equations being useful. Within that sheet you could create a section or area for each calculator with their respective equations and description of each variable. That would make the calculator itself uncluttered for those who wish to just plug in the variables and get an answer, and for those that want an explanation, they can go to that page. Maybe have a quick link on each page that redirects to the equations.

There’s probably a compromise solution where Ari could just provide a link to some other document/video/etc explaining how and why the math works.


Thanks everyone for the feedback. Right now I’m leaning towards the idea of making a separate document with the equations and short descriptions, and put a link to that document on the home page of the spreadsheet. I may include a few derivations if they’re interesting or un-intuitive. I won’t be including derivations for all of the formulas though, because that would probably take a few hundred pages. If someone will want the derivation for a formula that doesn’t have it, you can request it and I will do my best to add it. This is probably going to take some time to write up, but I’ll try to keep everyone updated as it’s coming along.


Thanks to some helpful feedback, I’ve found two bugs in v4.1. One bug relates to non-English system languages causing problems with macros. The other one crashes the macro when cancelling the new sheet dialog. Both bugs have now been patched, so I am releasing v4.2 as the new most recent version. The downloading site has been updated, so you can now download v4.2 at the same site as before. If anyone else finds any other bugs or in any way causes the macros to crash, please let me know so I can try to fix it for everyone.

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So I had a nice vacation in Philly; I got to relax, see friends and family, volunteer at FIRST Capital Cup, and write up 17 pages of equations. I’d like to have a few people look the document over before I release publicly though. If you’re interested, post here or send me a PM.

Edit to add: I’m really only looking for mentors with an engineering background to review the equations.


Ask and you shall receive. You can now download the document explaining all of the equations here. I’m hoping this will be a valuable teaching tool in conjunction with the spreadsheet itself. I will do my best to update this document as I make updates to the spreadsheet. If you find any errors in the document, or have questions about the math/physics in it, feel free to reach out.

Also, in writing the document I found two bugs in the spreadsheet. One was a missing constant for the “round tube” calculation in the Beam Bend Calculator. The other was a problem with metric inputs in the Drivetrain Calculator. Both have now been fixed in v4.3, which is now the most recent version available from the download site.


Thanks for the your excellent engineering calculator spreadsheet, which gets better every iteration. And now, thanks also for the well-organized write-up of the equations that power the spreadsheet.

I’ll be using both of them to grow my knowledge for mentoring, and I’m encouraging our team to make use of these great resources you’ve provided.

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Found another bug with the forward projectile trajectory calculator. Hopefully this is the last bug to squash, but if anyone finds anything else please let me know. You can now download v4.4 from the download website.

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We just took a look at this and it looks awesome!

One addition that I think would be great to add is some sort of tolerancing for the projectile calculator. Something where you could see the effects of a small deviation in release angle or exit velocity on the trajectory.

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This seemed pretty trivial so I ended up just implementing it myself. I added an angle tolerance and a velocity tolerance. I’m feeling lazy so don’t use both at once because really then you should have five cases (ideal + 4 extremes) and right now it just ignores two of those cases. Feel free to incorporate it into your spreadsheet. AMB Design Spreadsheet v4_4.xlsm (350.0 KB)

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