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Custom sizing pinion gear belts?


Aside from being devastatingly handsome, I also coach Science Olympiad at 3 schools in the district where I teach. One of the high school events is Mag Lev, a prop driven vehicle that levitates above a magnetic track. One of our high school teams is moving on to the state competition and we are upgrading this contraption. We did place first in our region, but need to step it up for States.

The "gold medal" version, nicknamed, "PITA (Pain in the A..)" by the young lady who built it, used a brushed motor with a 1:2.6 motor to prop revolution ratio. The belts tended to jump out of the pulleys easily. When tensioned so they didn't jump out, the belts would saw through the upper pulley on the prop shaft very quickly. Fortunately, it was able to hold it together long enough to win that event.

To remedy this, we are incorporating two pinion gears with the same ratio and a toothed belt. Problem is, the belt is far too long for our application. We can order a custom sized belt, but there has to be a way to resize it. Does anyone have any advice on cutting and splicing a 3mm wide belt? It HAS to be doable somehow!