Thanks! We are looking forward to the rest of the season. Should be a fun year, all things considered. Our goals for this year, as a recently "revived" team with nine members is to simply compete to the best of our ability in all aspects of the game. For design, this also means using a lot of CAD (pretty efficient means of design) before we spend extra time and money and prototypes. One software platform that we are going to use this year is Autodesk BXD Synthesis. http://synthesis.autodesk.com/
It will help us test our robot virtually, especially in terms of dimensions and mechanism function. Any other FRC teams out there that would like to share their plans or goals for this season?
My team uses Synthesis a lot for driver training, it is a really nice software.
My team's main goal this year is to design our chassis in a much more efficient way than we have in the past. Our current design has cut the weight of our chassis down by about 6 pounds, but has lost almost no structural integrity. Weight reduction is much more important for my team this year, as we are switching to swerve drive this year, which is a much heavier drivetrain than what we have used in the past (mecanum and tank drive).
A secondary goal for our team is to begin following a much more disciplined design process. Last year I was the only person on my team who did any CAD modeling, which proved to be problematic, as each of the sub assembly groups on my team had no idea what the others were doing. This year, I have been teaching my team how to CAD model, and any assembly that is being built for the robot must first be modeled and checked to make sure it will properly fit on the robot with the other assemblies before it gets the go-ahead to go on the robot.
Logistics can be difficult on my team, as we have nearly 40 members, so forcing people to CAD their designs should help eliminate confusion.
Cool, nice to know your that you like Synthesis. We also only had one student doing CAD on our team last year, and we will be sure to make sure that more students are able to contribute to the design so that there is not any confusion, even though we are only a 9 student team.
Yes, what CAD program are you guys using? I am guessing Inventor or fusion, since Synthesis is an autodesk program. I am lucky though because I have taken 6 years of CAD modeling classes, and I have certifications in a few softwares so I have been able to work with my team during the off season to get several more members proficient in CAD.
Understanding CAD design isn't just useful for lowering confusion, it is also really beneficial because you can run simulations in most softwares that can estimate strength and material characteristics in your design, which my team has found to be quite accurate through destructive testing. You can also calculate the mass of parts before they are built, so you don't end up having to swiss cheese your robot.
To be honest most of our work is done in PTC Creo Parametric 4.0 or Inventor 2019. I have also done a lot of work with Fusion 360. I like the collaborative aspect of it. I agree, the ability to calculate weight is very nice! (Here is my personal profile, i've also been on FTC, on team 8711 the Gas Attendants: https://grabcad.com/nathan.delguanto-1)
That's great, certifications are a nice way to have CAD skills be recognized. We will probably also use more simulation this year as well for most of our parts. Your teams mainly use Solidworks 2018, right?
To be honest most of our work is done in PTC Creo Parametric 4.0 or Inventor 2019. I have also done a lot of work with Fusion 360. I like...
My teams tend to use Solidworks for final robot assemblies, but since we do most of our designing in collaboration, sub assemblies are usually done in fusion 360. Fusion is also a good match for our team to do a lot of our designing because my school provides all students with laptops, but they only have dual core I5 and 4gb ram, which doesn't really cut it for solidworks.
I have honestly been quite impressed with fusion recently, Autodesk is making it into a pretty nice streamlined design software.
I personally learned how to CAD model on Inventor, so I will usually use that for exporting to synthesis, but it isn't something that a majority of my team does.
I have also taken a liking to Siemens NX and SolidEdge, but they are a bit overkill for FRC use. Catia is nice for estimating cost of production, but it is more optimized for large scale production, when my personal team usually only does 2-3 chassis per season, and the rookie team I mentor is just doing a single robot.