FTC Custom Gearboxes?

Is there a good way to make custom gearboxes in FTC? For our robot we relied OTS gearboxes. But now that we’re in off-season, I have a couple of students who are interested in learning more about gearboxes and I’d like to have them build some kind of simple gearbox as a hands-on investigation.

In FRC in the past I’ve done something similar by laser-cutting 1/4" delrin gearbox plates and pressing in hex-bearings, but for this team we don’t have as powerful of a laser-cutter (maxes out at about 1/8") and FTC doesn’t seem to use that type of bearings, or 1/2" hex shaft. Ideally it’d be nice to use common FTC materials if possible for this project, so anything we order can be re-used down the line.

Has anyone done a project like this with FTC students? Or if you’ve done a different type of project for hands-on learning about gearboxes, I’d be interested to hear that too!

Fully custom gearboxes in FTC are pretty much unheard of, mostly because COTS gearboxes are plenty tough already. The UltraPlanetary system from Rev allows you to build custom-ish gearboxes that can teach about planetary gearboxes and are actually pretty good. Alternatively, you could make a fully FRC style gearbox with the GoBilda build system with their 8mm rex and bearings. It wouldn’t be practical but would be extremely fun and a great learning experience.

i have seen/designed quite a few, but mainly teams run ultraplanetaries or gobilda gearboxes with a single stage reduction to achieve the ratio they want.

Also, ftc teams used to use frc gears to make gearboxes, but with robots now being smaller to be lighter, this is less common

Thanks for the input. Sounds like maybe there’s not a great way to make it directly relevant to FTC, and I should just find something simple (maybe Lego gears or similar) that makes it easy to play around and see what’s happening.