View Full Version : Where do you build?

03-30-2006, 09:39 PM
Let's hear it: Not everyone has a warehouse, some people get space donated by their school, and I've even heard of robots being built in garages! Where does your team do the grease work?

Team 75 gets space donated by a local warehouse company yearly, but tell some of your stories :yikes:

03-30-2006, 09:44 PM
ya we work in a poorly equipped architecture room with a portable bandsaw and power drills

Adam Richards
03-30-2006, 09:54 PM
Team 1341 has been lucky enough to have our sponsor, Sun Hydraulics, graciously donating space, engineering support, and parts, with the availability of plenty of tools and two drill presses in the main room, and access to a great machine shop next door (as long as one of the engineers is there to supervise).

Joe J.
03-30-2006, 09:57 PM
This year we built in the Electronics Lab at our school. No machine shop (Hacksaw & Drill), kind of cramped.

In the past we have built in a Visteon Lab (2002-2005) which had a michine shop, Vehicle Bay, lots of space.
And at the CTS lab (2000-2001) which from what I've heard had a machine shop, and a full practice field.

03-30-2006, 10:03 PM
we work in our school's shop which we pretty much have to ourselves. Its a very spacious room with a few large closets. I beleive that second to the gym pool and cafeteria it is the largest room in the school. We also have the adjoining computer lab at our disposal. We are equipped with two drill presses, two bandsaws, an abrasive chopsaw, a huge compound miter saw, a very small CNC lathe with a tape drive :) ,a sheet bender, a sheet break, a roll press, a crappy but functional mig welder, 2 spot welders, 4 spacious work tables with vices, lots of misc grinding and sanding machines, a table saw which i might add cuts alum plate just fine, two microwaves and a minifridge, snack machines right outside the door, A central vacuum system from hell known affectionately as "it", and every hand tool imaginable. There used to be lots of machine tools in our shop but the county auctioned them off about 15 years ago. I only wish we had a garage door and a lift so we could work on cars

Whatever we can't fashion from woodworking tools, we have a machinest we call "dāmn skippy" make for us. There is also also a few people who do TIG welding for us.

Next door there are about 15 computers. Attached to one of the computers is a shamfully not-beefy CNC mill. People have cautioned me about trying to mill aluminum in it. I'm going to try it anyway. About the only use it has ever seen was cutting out lexan gears with our team number for use as keychain handouts. I can't forget the vinal sign maker. Thats a fiesty little critter and one of my favorites. Along the back wall there there are 3 robotic arms. Off to one side is the "programming closet" aka: my office. Its a square room roughly 10'x10' with a door connecting it to the main computer room. There are windows into the computer room on either side of the door. Inside are two P4s, some electronic test equipment, my old papers and perhaps an empty coke bottle.

03-30-2006, 10:13 PM
We build in my bedroom....J/K.... everything robot (222) is done at our school. We have a metal shop (that received new equipment a few years ago) and all other things such as electronics/programming/small scale testing, is done in a room that is a part of the metal shop. As far as testing our full size robot, we either practice in the gym, or the cafeteria. Whichever is available during build since our school hosts wrestling tournaments and youth basketball the same time build occurs on the weekends. We have a lot of interested young lings though!! :D However, we do have the option to use the metal shop facility at our local fire department where we donated our old equipment.

03-30-2006, 10:37 PM
Our team builds in a old biology classroom that our school gave to us. There was never such a perfect robotics room. Six rows of lab tables, all bolted down, solid wood, and acid/flame (and hammer) proof phenolic tabletops. Electrical outlets every 2 feet running along, so we can use our tools anywhere in the room. Not to mention having more shelf and cabinet than we could ever feasibly use...It's like it was designed with robots in mind.

(Wish they had put in more insulation, though. Brrrrr...)

Steve Howland
03-30-2006, 10:41 PM

A bit of an old thread (1 year isn't that bad I guess) but I think some useful insight about build locations can be found here.

edit: and you can check out some threads from even before that!

and...dare I say it? even one beyond that! Back when thread numbers were only 4 digits!

03-30-2006, 10:46 PM
Well, our local Intelligence Electronic Warfare Test Directorate was courteous enough to prvide us rookies with a home on the military base, complete with band saw, shear, grinder, and lots of other cool power tools.

03-30-2006, 11:15 PM
A school classroom... the sad thing is.. the classroom is still used during the day. We have a wood shop down the hall that helps some of the time. GM offered space in their warehouse last year but trasportation is an issue so we couldn't use it.

03-30-2006, 11:18 PM
We build in the cinematogrophy classroom of our school. There are three small rooms inside there that are completely locked off for our storage, but we tend to build everything in the actual class - the teacher doesn't like our metal scraps :p

Some students also head on down to the local community college (Glendale Community College) or a CNC shop called Trucut (owned by the family of a team member) to fabricate parts.

03-30-2006, 11:22 PM
Yeah, my team works in a multimedia classroom. It's nice because we're surrounded by computers, but the bad thing about this is that they're all Macs.. which don't run inventor. Also we have two tiny storage rooms and one med. sized one... this is barely enough to store all the tools and robots (we had to move a few into our advisor's classroom, lol. We even have to take apart our field parts to make them fit into our rooms (its like a big game of tetris at the end of the day!)

If only we had warehouse space... ahh the possibilities...

03-30-2006, 11:38 PM
We work in one computer lab and one history classroom next to each other. Both these classrooms are used during the school day (and even during the summer, these rooms are always one of the few that happen to have summer class), so everything must be put back into our closet every build day. We have just enough space for some hand tools, and somehow we manage to fit a tabletop rotary saw somewhere in there.

The one nice thing about the location is it is right by our back parking lot, and is the only classroom in the school (besides auto) that has a door directly open to part of the parking lot. Moving robots/tools in and out is easy since we can drive trucks right up. Also, being lucky enough to live where it doesn't rain for 140 straight days, we can set up drill presses and other stuff the mentors bring in in the parking lot, as well as work outside and do alot of the robot testing out there.

03-30-2006, 11:49 PM
we build in our schools abandoned machine/wood shop.
its equipped with a lot of cabinet and closet space, but very few tools. We used to have a small CNC machine (from what ive heard) , but some fool broke it before our team was even esablished. so sad :(

anyway, among the list of tools we have is one drill press (that has reached life's end), two band saws (one of which is heldtogether by wood), 4 grinding tools, 1 sanding tool, a broken oscilliscope (???), and an arc welder. We also bought our own internet connection, which we hook a wireless network up to.

03-31-2006, 06:51 AM
General Motors is very gracious to the HOT team and we are given the privilege of working within the Milford Proving Grounds in one of the machine shop buildings.

03-31-2006, 07:15 AM
Wow, where we work seems like Wonderland compared to some people. We were lucky because our main sponsor, is a metal fabricating shop (something like that) and because two of our mentors work there, we are able to user their machine shop. They have two Mills a horizontal and a vertical bandsaw, a drill press, and a CNC mill and lathe. Plus we have acess to our schools mech rooms which were newly renovated and have MIG welders, drill press, along with other things.

03-31-2006, 07:32 AM
We build in our school's wood/metal shop, which is adjacent to our mentor's classroom that he teaches Calc C in. He also teaches the Engineering design classes, so it makes it really easy for us to work. During build season, the shop is pretty much the robot zone. It used to be a full wood shop, but our mentor has been getting some more metalworking equipment, which is mostly used for robot because our school doesn't even have wood or metal shop classes anymore. We have 3 big drill presses, a table saw, large band saw, two small band saws, a small mill/lathe combo, a small CNC mill/lathe machine that doesn't work (even though we've been trying our hardest to fix it), metal brake, metal bender, MIG welder (loaned to the school each year), and grinders, drills, etc. We are very fortunate to have access to so much equipment, and I know other teams have more and others have less, we might be somewhere in the middle.


03-31-2006, 11:11 AM
Our robot is built in our mentors garages. One of the garages can be seen on the FIRSTwiki, on the page about Eric (our 2005 robot), as the bottom pic is Eric in front of the garage with the door still open...

03-31-2006, 12:07 PM
We use a empty storefront that the guy lets us use for free I think, because he likes how we are a learning program thing.

03-31-2006, 12:19 PM
:D We work in the basement of the convent that is connected to our school. It's roomy, but sometimes it gets a bit crowded...It would be nice if we had a whole warehouse to build in like some teams, but for now I guess the basement will just have to do! :D

03-31-2006, 01:34 PM
We have been extremely fortunate with regards to building space and resources. We work on one floor of a technical wing in a comprehensive high school. We have enough space to build a full scale field to work with and normally invite local teams to come practice the Saturday before shipping. We also work next to a metals fabrication shop and the teacher there is very accommodating to our program. We have mostly old machinery, but did purchase a new milling machine this year. We are also very close to our corporate sponsor, Gillette, who has their own world class machining facilities...so we can normally make things in one or the other place depending on the tolerance of the part needed. I think that it helps us work closer toward the best of both worlds - having students involved in the process and making/working on the machine AND having professionals who can show what can be accomplished when you have the right tools and the right skills.

03-31-2006, 01:57 PM
We build in our school's metal shop...not the greatest, but it works. We then kind-of spread out into the autos room. Everything else that has nothing to do with building the actual robot is done in the Robotics room (aka the old choir room that was generously given to us when band and choir got new rooms)

Daniel Morse
03-31-2006, 02:05 PM
Team 213 takes advantage of the attached career center at our school. For all design, programming, and animation needs, we use the CAD Lab, which is equipped with 20 computers with ATI FireGL v3200 workstation graphics. Needless to say, they run Inventor 10 and 3DS max wonderfully. When it comes to machining, we have a comprehensive machine shop (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43967) consisting of 11 lathes, 6 mills, 3 full HAAS CNC machines, and various grinders. This is where all of the custom parts are made by student and pro machinists. To build our field, we go to the Construction trades lab, which is a gigantic construction room, with many handy woodworking tools. Unfortunately, we cannot leave the field set up in here, for they are usually building a house. We also have an auto shop that we do our sheet metal work in. The only thing we do export is welding, which we are not setup to do in the school.

04-03-2006, 01:08 PM
We rely on one of our sponsors for space. We are in our 2nd location in this season. He rents/maintains/builds warehouse space and moves us to what he has available that isn't currently being rented out. The spot we are in now has a 50,000 sq foot warehouse and about 6 offices. We worked on the bot in a room about 30 x 20, the computers are in an adjoining office. We only have hand tools as we have to stay portable for the next possible move.

He did tell us that having the robot there was an easy way for potential renters to remember which building they were interested in.


04-03-2006, 01:54 PM
We have a Nice Shop and Lab. ;) Message me if you want to know whats in it.

04-03-2006, 03:17 PM
we work in a couple of rooms. one is the network system's room, which is our base, and it's full of computers. there's a room next door, a multimedia room, that we can use to build and research. we have the machine shop, which is a technology class in the day, with many machines and computers. we have a huge "closet" that houses all of our equipment except the machinery. we test the robot in either the library, "main street" or huge main hallway in our school, or the band room. we also have used little "meeting" areas and the computer lab. we take up alot of the school lol

Jon Jack
04-03-2006, 03:19 PM
We have two places we build:

We do all of our machining and fabrication at Blue Chip Machining and Fabrication which is a 2 minute drive down the street from our school.

We do all of our building, electronics and programming in our engineering lab. When our robot is finished we roll it down the hall to our 'Commons' area, which is a large empty space which is intended for our school-wide community meetings and can seat 400-500 people. The carpet in this area is very similar to that of a FIRST field. We set up goals and ramps and run around.

04-03-2006, 04:41 PM
Our team is fortunate enough to use our school's old shop room, so we also are fortunate enough to have several different machines. We also use a computer lab for Inventor, Animation, Website...

Chris 481
04-03-2006, 05:09 PM
Team 481 has a trailer like the one that go on the back of 18 wheeler trucks
and we build in classrooms that we have to alternate because other classes need to use them. We only have hand tools except for a small drill press and we just ordered a bandsaw. The trailer barely holds all of our supplies because we have to store the equipment from the lego league comp that we host. It is pretty sad.

04-03-2006, 05:37 PM
We build in a half classroom half computer lab. The only machinery we have is a mini drill press and a recipocating saw and of course drills. If we want to test the robot we can push it into the hallway. More than once this season someone has bumped the controls and sent 7 inch balls of poofy terror hurling into the brand new computers. Also in the hallway outside of the classroom the lockers and walls are scratched and have chunks missing. If we want a decent work space we must stack desks up at the back of the classroom. However we do have a smartboard and a makeshift stereo.

Dan Richardson
04-03-2006, 06:17 PM
1902 builds in my garage ! teehee, its about 20x20 workspace with little to nothing in it. If the team needed table space we worked either in my kitchen counter or my room for cading and looking things up. It was a bit crazy I don't ever suggest working in a garage, especially if its your own.

As far as tools, we had nothing until about week 2 which we got a drill press from harbor freight and a few chop saws which were borrowed from my neighbors. Drill press, chop saw and assorted hand tools built our bot.

Our build space may not have been build space heaven but we are dang proud of what we got out of it.

I think next year we are working to get into a warehouse, storefront or a machine shop, all of which would be nice.

04-03-2006, 07:14 PM
Team 1732: Most of the time we were in the DLC (discovery learning center) machine shop at Marquette University. though for a week we were in the 3rd floor gym at my school. (yes, it is on the 3rd floor :ahh: )

Jay H 237
04-03-2006, 08:22 PM
237 mainly builds at the high school we're based out of. If we know ahead of time that school will be closed because of bad weather or any other reason we bring some of the stuff to one of our sponsors shops.

At the school we use the electronics room, metals room, woodshop, and our main area the cafeteria. At the end of the night everything has to get cleaned up and put away so regular classes and lunch can be held in the rooms we work in. Most of our stuff is kept in a small storage room which is part of the electronics room.

04-03-2006, 08:27 PM
we worked in our physics teacher's garage. Have 1 drill press 1 chop saw 1 table saw and a couple portable drills and few other assorted tools.

04-03-2006, 08:57 PM
Before I tell of our current digs, I must relate the infamous story of the founding of MORT:
MORT began in the back of the school wood shop with 8 kids and no tools. There was no heat. The principal changed the locks on them, but they persevered.

10 years later (present day)
We have our own room, with machines (bad ones) and tools (worse ones). We hijack the metal shop, CAD room, wood shop, and a science room during the build season nights. We do our CNC cutting at the local community college or VoTech school. We don't have the fancy corporate sponsors some teams have, but I'd say we're doing pretty well.

04-03-2006, 09:46 PM
We build in an old machine shop in an old power plant. In the basement, we have: the shop (hand tools, vices, and a grinder and a sander--it has a drill press and threader and something else, but thye don't work right), and the outer area, where we use chopsaws, paint, and whatever needs room goes out there. Our practice field is in one corner next to the shop. Upstairs, we use a lunchroom for plotting and meetings. The downside to all this: About once a year we get kicked out for a few days. This happens if a film crew wants to shoot at the power plant in our area.

04-03-2006, 10:53 PM
we work at our mentors house in his garage. we also put plywood down on his pooltable to make a huge flat surface to work on. This is an awsome pic of us workin