Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2017


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Craig Johnson PE, Professor

Second Committee Member

Roger Beardsley PE, Associate Professor

Third Committee Member

Charles Pringle EIT, Associate Professor


The current market for rope capture devices shows a trend of using toothed devices as the method of creating a rope capture system. These systems are effective for a variety of applications but in any scenario in which a high load is encountered there is a large amount of damage done by the teeth to the rope. The objective of this project was to create a rope capture device that did not utilize teeth in order to create a safer loading condition on the rope. The method used for this project was application of equiangular spirals, this is the same method used for climbing cams. A profile was built using a section of a mathematical curve and was imported into a CAD/CAM program in order to be manufactured. Initial calculations showed that a small cam could replace the toothed plates used in commercial devices in order to remove the elements which could damage the sheath of the rope. The results of the project showed a successful application of the mathematical principles in creating a device that would slide up the rope cleanly in one direction but immediately catch in the opposite direction. This proof of concept device demonstrates the working concepts of a camming unit as a replacement of a toothed device.