Rack and Pinion

Rack and pinion refers to a a toothed linear gear (the rack), meshed with a a circular gear (the pinion gear). When the pinion gear is driven, it will drive the pinion gear upwards or downwards, depending on how the rack and pinion is mounted.

Generally, rack and pinion is a good light-use option for FTC teams in terms of linear extension. However, there are some disadvantages to rack and pinion compared to the other options of linear extension. Therefore, rack and pinion is generally not recommended for teams.

Advantages

  • Easy way to extend upwards.

  • Power and linear motion in one package

  • Can with proper support, sustain heavy load (e.g. hang robot)

Disadvantages

  • Rack and pinion generally is only used in one stage, because multiple mechanisms require other forms of powering it (belt, string, chain, etc.)

  • Rack and pinion needs to be supported very will to sustain heavy load, or else the mesh will fail. It is not advisable to use the Tetrix rack and pinion in high stress conditions.

A marketing image for the tetrix rack and pinion

The Tetrix rack and pinion has a tendency to fail under medium to high load.