How to design an effective elevator?

Does anyone have any advice on what to main factors to consider when designing an elevator? Some of the factors that came to mind include the advantages of different types of rigging, deciding what gear ratios and motors to use, counterbalancing with a constant force spring and how to design/calculate that, and wiring. What makes a custom-built elevator better than one that you could buy a kit for like the Greyt Universal Elevator? Please let me know if you have any suggestions or helpful information. Thanks!

Again, the biggest advantage to anything custom is design flexibility. You are free to design and do as you wish rather than having to rely on a kit and set of instructions. If you want to go the custom route, I’d recommend watching 973 RAMP videos on their elevator. The gussets they use are fairly simple and you could print out a CAD Drawing, cut it out, glue it to some aluminum, and cut it out using drills and a jigsaw. Of course if you are able to use a CNC Router, CNC Mill, or Waterjet, it would be a lot nicer but it’s still doable by hand.


Honestly, it depends on what you want the elevator to be used for. My advice in terms of gear ratio’s and power would be to run everything through JVN calculator (an awesome excel spreadsheet that does most of the math you’d ever need for you).

The main benefit to a custom elevator, as mentioned before, is flexibility. You can make it exactly how you want it. However, a kit like the Greyt Elevator, or the one that REV sells is a good option if your team has never done an elevator before. They are proven systems that are guaranteed to work, so you can worry more about what you are actually going to put on the elevator.

If you really wanted to go custom, keep it simple for the first elevator or make and test one in the off season. You will run into problems when you test a new design for the first time, especially if you don’t have experience with them. If you run into those problems in the off season, it is no big deal. If you run into problems during competition season, it can screw up your entire season.

Finally, feel free to ask people to look over CAD designs, calculations, drawings, or whatever else you want feedback on. There are tons of people on here who have done this for a long time that would love to help you come up with a good design. You just need to ask.

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