A Simple Stacker Begins to Take Shape

This morning we got an update from the Simple Stacker group. They have been busy working on a 4-bar system to complete this crucial task. The goal for this mechanism is to be able to stack two totes on top of the step – ultimately using this to assist in gaining the Coopertition points.

Initially, a 4-bar was compared to a linear elevator system, but 4-bar required less precision alignment.  Additionally, even though both styles achieved the same goal, a 4-bar would be much simpler to design and construct.  As highlighted in Karthik’s Strategic Analysis, this is always an important factor to consider.

To reach this goal, the 4-bar stacker needs to be able to lift itself 19 inches from the ground up to reach the height of 2 Totes on top of the Step. It achieves this in early calculations.

Lift lowered grabbing bin  Lift Raised stacking on step

After completing the 2D prototype, the group decided on using a Mini CIM and a VersaPlanetary Gearbox to power this stacker. After some quick calculations, it looked like a Mini CIM would work perfectly.  Thanks to its compact size and ease of use, the VersaPlanetary Gearbox was the natural interface between the motor and the linkage.

Gearing calculations

The next step for the Simple Stacker group will be to turn their 2D “Crayola CAD” into a 3D CAD model for more testing. We can’t wait to see how their process continues to grow!