IMechE Design Challenge (Regional Winner)

Pipe Climber

Brief: We had to design a contraption that could climb and descend a pipe as fast as possible while carrying a chain, that also cost less than £25.

Design: The pipe climber operates by clamping the pipe between the 3 wheels. Once switched on, the motor, with integrated 300:1 gearbox, powers the single drive wheel through a simple 1:1 transmission to achieve a top speed of 2.4m/s, with only a small decrease when carrying the maximum amount of chain. Upon reaching the top, the two levers release one of the clamping wheels, allowing the pipe climber to fall under gravity and land on the sponge, ready to be reused. It cost only £19.77, and used no glue, screws, bolts or rivets at all!

Result: We won the regional event and will be competing in London in October 2019!

Improvements to be made: A more powerful motor will be the first improvement we make, and then we will change the transmission to further increase the speed. We will also attempt to reduce mass, possibly using the generative design feature in Fusion360.


Elliot Morley, James Tarver, Ciaran Wrigglesworth, Pier Tron & Kyle Wright

 May 2019