Calculating pulley distance/belt length?

My goal is to implement belts/pulleys; I have no prior experience. If I know the specification for my pulley wheel and the number of teeth it has, how do I calculate my desired timing belt length/appropriate distance from the pulley wheel?

Here’s a handy website our team uses:

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WestCoast Products has some videos that explain how to design using belts:

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Are you using VexPro pulleys and belts? If so, you can utilize the WCP Belt Calculator.

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This is the what I’ve used, it hasn’t failed me (albeit I’ve only used belts twice)


I’ll throw in a plug for my design spreadsheet, which has this functionality for both belts and chain. It also has a bunch of other useful tools for robot design.


The AMB Design Spreadsheet from @AriMB rocks btw.

Gives you a list of calculators to choose from on the first tab so you’re not overwhelmed by 30 sheets to sort through.

I wish CD had a sidebar or something for calculators and posters that was regularly maintained with stuff like this.


I use this: