Tubing for Elevators

Hello everyone,

After the build season, my team likes to evaluate how we could have made our robot/mechanisms lighter (who doesn’t want a lighter robot?). We were discussing how to make an ultra light elevator and someone suggested that we use 0.05" instead of 0.10" versaframe. Is this viable as long as you aren’t using your elevator to climb (like 2018)? Or is it better to simply router a lightening pattern in the thicker tubing?

We used 1/16"(.0625) wall aluminum tubing in 2018 where we didn’t climb with it. It was light and we never had any issues with it. I have heard of teams using 1/16 and also pocketing it and apparently that’s worked out well for them but that’s a bit more risky.

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Risk aside, it’s a lot of effort for marginal gain. Drill a 1/2" hole in that, and you’ve removed about .099 cubic inches of material. For 6061 aluminum, that’s .15 ounces removed. As in 0.0096 pounds. As in just under one one hundredth of a pound.

The bulk of the weight savings are in the thickness, rather than the pocketing.

We are currently using round tubing inspired by 148 from last year. Our outer most set of tubes are 1/16" 1.5 OD, and inner are .035" 1.5" OD. Strength wise, we are very impressed. We don’t climb with it but we fell while sitting on HAB3 during our first QF match at St Joe, landing directly on our elevator, and no sign of damage or tweaking.

We started with 1x2x1/8 rectangular tubing, then changed to 1x2x1/8 channel (single stage elevator). Saved a third of the weight. And easier for me to weld than thin wall

1/16" wall is really pretty strong, you could use it on your lift and climb last year (mostly because there is more tension and the bars dont take lateral load) The biggest problem with 1/16" is attaching to it, the thickness makes welding more difficult and rivets/bolts can create oval holes over time but dont let that deter you that only happens after more matches than anyone will play.

We’re using the versa 1x1x.04 tubing from vex for our elevator this year.

Last year we uses 2x1x06 for our elevator but we also climbed with it so we wanted the extra strength.

We used 0.0625 for our climbing elevator last year and are using it again this year.

We haven’t used thicker wall square tube for a very log time. It is overkill for most FIRST robot applications.

We’re using 1/16”.

148 opted to use the 0.050" this year instead of the round tube.

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