Our team is using a three stage elevator this year, but we don’t know how we should run our energy chain. We know how to run it for a two stage elevator, but haven’t tried it for a three stage elevator. For a three stage elevator, what is the best way to use energy chain (how did 195, 148, etc. do it), or would it be better to use a cable sleeve?
Last year we used igus tracks that mounted to an angle bracket off of our E-blocks that went between the stages of the elevators, this is the best picture I could find as an example
It worked fairly well, occasionally a piece of the track would break and you’d have some exposed wires (usually due to other robots/field elements) but I’d say that as long you have decent spacing and no mechanisms that could interfere with it you should face minimal issues. This greatly depends on whether your team is going with a single or double masted elevator though.
We have used IGUS in the past and plan to use it again this year. We plan to use Part Number: E2-10-40-028-0 or Part Number: 06-40-028-0 this year on our bot. The E2-10 series opens for easy cable access and installation.
Some of you may remember our IGUS Can Grabber from Recycle Rush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik4Oiol5A5U
This may not be feasible depending on your elevator design, but last year we zip tied our energy chain between the stages of our elevator. The energy chain definitely had a lot of play, but this setup worked for us.
We are doing a 3-stage lift for the first time this year, and recently found a way to mount our igus chains.
We will be running 2 chains, one from the top of stage 1 (stationary stage), to top of stage 2 (1st moving stage), then a 2nd from there up to the carriage. There will be a small service loop between the two igus chains. We ran a similar configuration as the 2nd igus last year with a 2-stage lift and it worked out great.
Below sketch shows igus routes in red. lift stages are drawn exploded out for clarity, but will be nested. As long as the igus mount points are spaced out to allow proper bend radius for each, and proper lengths are determined for your lift motion it should run smoothly full-stroke.