Thrifty Elevator Release

Individual Kits Here: https://www.thethriftybot.com/bearings/Thrifty-Elevator-c141418354

We’ve been working on this one for a while now. Very happy to finally release it and open up pre-orders. Parts have been in production and we’ll start shipping kits out in December. I’m still getting everything 100% buttoned up on the website there but feel free to ask questions. We’ll have some other assembly videos ready when kits start to ship out, but the assembly guide PDF and CAD files are available today.

Features include:

  • Single piece aluminum bearing blocks made from 1/4" thick aluminum. These allow for 1/2 inch horizontal spacing between stages and no vertical travel lost due to bearing block geometry. These include locating features on the back so teams can easily clamp them to tubes and transfer drill the mounting holes.


  • Solid steel chain attachment stud block allows for easy installation of 25H chain. These posts are sized to be as thick as possible and still fit between the chain links. During assembly I found it nice to just be able to pop the chain on / off or just let it sit on the posts while running it around the entire system for sizing purposes.

  • Integrated support for constant force springs that help offset the weight of your sliding stages. This kit comes with a 50" long spring with 16.5 lbs of pulling force to offset some of your elevator’s weight.

  • Easy CAM tensioning system allows for quick dyneema cable tensioning as needed. Simply use a 1/2 inch wrench and run your dyneema cable thru the CAM pulley that includes a pass thru slot for your cable.
  • 2.5mm thick elevator gussets sized for #10 hardware. One thin profile gusset to ensure bearings can easily travel in multi-stage elevator setups.

Anyway, that’s all I can think of right now. Feel free to ask questions and we’ll try to answer them. We’ll be doing free shipping on the elevator kits that are ordered during the pre-order period. Appreciate the support :green_heart:

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Awesome stuff Ryan, been waiting to see this drop since you showed me the Elevator Blocks in Houston.

Any plans to sell the individual parts, or just full kits?

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Great work, this is a very clean design.

It’s one thing to design components that work, it’s another to do an end to end system and solve all the problems!

Excited to see this out there!

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No, we appreciate your support, and everything we do. Great work, this looks amazing, and you get a bonus for having an onshape file :slight_smile:

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Plan right now is for the kits. Which parts would you want individually? Obviously we are open to feedback.

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Thanks Adam!! Your elevator is Greyt!

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Both pulleys and the pulley bracket.

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I would love to see the bearing blocks and gusset plates made available separately. It also seems a bit odd that the 2-stage kit is listed with both the pulley and chain, and that the 1-stage kit only has the chain listed. It would be great to see this split out into 4 options, so you can get 1/2-stage and pulley/chain options depending on what the team needs.

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This is a good looking kit. Thanks Ryan, Sam and team.

Hopefully you can figure out how to ship it to Canada without enormous duty fees.

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We will have to think about this one. A lot of development work went into the cable tensioning mechanism, and bundling it all together all in one batch saves us a lot of time come build season. It might make sense to split that kit up further.

Hey Jon - these kits are already available as their own things: https://www.thethriftybot.com/bearings/Thrifty-Elevator-c141418354

The idea here was to make it so teams could go get the bearing block kits, gussets, pulley kits, chain kit or constant force spring kits as their own things and just integrate them into their designs. There’s also just the ‘give me an elevator’s worth of stuff’ option.

I can play with the configurator if there are options teams want for sure, the thought with 1 stage is that you’re just lifting that inside stage and that’s it.

@Nick.kremer there are a few parts that we’ll list separately as well, if there’s something teams really want we can look at making it its own SKU for purchase. The 1/2" Hex coupler is definitely going to be its own part for example -

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That’s awesome, this really gives teams so many options!

This is the first truly compelling use of the rev ion extrusion. The corner reinforcements address a problem we’ve seen in our past elevators where the bearings were able to dent standard 2x1’s from collisions. The built in locating pieces are great on the bearing blocks as well.

This is a really nice setup, at a very thrifty price. Well done.

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Lifting Game Confirmed

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Fantastic elevator! this is going to help teams a ton. Excited to see how this will be used in the future!

(Anyways FIRST thats your que to make an elevator game for 2023 :eyes:)

(also dang he got to it first)

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Shout out to @Greg_Needel and the gang at REV. MAXTube has held up incredibly well in all of my testing and it weighs so little it’s almost not fair. Prior to adding weight on that test rig, the whole robot weighed around 60 pounds with battery. With a 4 ft two stage elevator. The future is here folks.

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The main bearing block is a 1/4" piece of CF-PA 3D printed plastic, am I right? If so, I’m a little worried about it cracking under the off-center load from the front/back bearings. Have you done any load testing to give teams an idea of what kind of overhanging loads a TTB elevator can support?

No the bearing block is all aluminum. I’ll make sure to get materials posted soon.

The only plastic items are shoulder bolt spacers and the CF spring retainer spacer.

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Awesome work! How well does this hold up to forces such as rapid accel/decel when holding something heavy up top, etc?

Ah ok. Your video must show a prototype then:

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