CAD (Computer Aided Design) Resources Homepage


CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) is one of the greatest assets a robotics teams can have. By allowing you to build every part virtually ahead of time, CAD can be used to find and correct design flaws. The software lets for a more efficent and fluid work to be done because everyone involved can stay updated. Our team uses Autodesk Inventor, which can be downloaded for free by any participent of FRC at http://students.autodesk.com/?nd=first_home. Autodesk is often self taught through a combination of tutorial videos, of which there are plenty, and self driven experimentation within the program, like building everyday objects from a computer mouse to a water bottle.

3D Printer

Team 1912 Combustion recently earned a Cube 3d Printer through First Choice, the FIRST Robotics parts supply organization. When Team 1912 received the printer, parts needed to build the robot could not be delivered so Team 1912 used the 3d printer to make prototype versa hubs and pulleys to be used with the hexagonal axles of the robot. The parts made by the 3d printer helped Team Combustion continue building the robot before the versa hubs and pulleys arrived. In the future, Team Combustion will make continue to prototype robot parts and make key chains of the Combustion logo.

Using the 3D Printer

The first step in using the printer is to set the alignment between the glass design plate and the printer head with a piece of paper, which sets the clearance between the print head and the glass plate to the right distance for best printing. Next start the printer warming and put a thin layer of glue on the glass design plate to hold the design down while it is printing. After the plastic filament cartridge is loaded, the plate is on, and printer is ready to print, the printer will lay out a plastic mesh on the plate that will serve as a base for the design. A thumb drive is used to transfer the CAD design into the printer in order to print it. Then, you can watch the printer print your design layer by layer until it is done. The amount of time the printer takes to print depends on the size of what is being printed, and the printer will print a maximum of 3" by 3" by 3". To remove the design from the plate, put the design plate (with the design) into a bucket of warm water, let it soak, and then remove it.

Parts Libraries:

Many FRC components have already been created, all you need to do is download and unzip the folders, simplyfing the design process.

http://students.autodesk.com/?nd=kitofparts_view - has every part from the KOP since 2008, all prefashioned.
http://students.autodesk.com/?nd=first_inventor - download the Parts Library, its called the Super CAD Library, and it really is super, almost a complete collection of every obscure FRC part there is.
http://www.firstcadlibrary.com/ - hasn't been updated for about 3 years, but still plenty of parts.

Tutorials: some videos used by our team

http://students.autodesk.com/?nd=first_inventor - offical step by step guide personalized for FRC participants.
http://wikihelp.autodesk.com/Inventor/enu/2012 - Wikipedia for Inventor
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/cad-design-and-animation - the offical FIRST

Autodesk Inventor Fundamentals

Autodesk Inventor 2013 - Training Tutorials

Computer Mouse (Video Tutorial) Autodesk Inventor 2012

Autodesk Inventor 2013 - How to create a Drill Bit