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Unread 09-06-2018, 05:11 AM
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Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

Most people in FRC know what a sheet metal drivetrain is: it's the kind of drivetrain that 148 and other teams build every year, made from thin, bent pieces of riveted-together, CNC cut sheet metal. It is arguably the style that gives the most design flexibility, yet takes the most experience and resources to produce at a competitive level.

Inspired by poohbear, I'd like to introduce to the FRC community a new type of sheet metal drivetrain, which only requires a CNC router/waterjet/laster cutter to make.



The drivetrain is built from flat sheets, which are stacked to make a 3D shape. Easy to make, and easy to build. Only weighs a bit over 50 lbs.

The bellypan layer: https://i.imgur.com/67PQnAI.png
The middle layers: https://i.imgur.com/VIVr1aq.png
Middle layers with bearing cutouts: https://i.imgur.com/oIXFHmD.png


For those who can't tell, this whole post is /s
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Last edited by AriMB : 09-06-2018 at 07:30 AM.
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Unread 09-06-2018, 05:38 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

I love this thing! It reminds me of a transformer core, but to use it that way you would need to build with steel plates instead of aluminum.

Built with steel, it would be the ultimate box-on-wheels defensive ram-bot.

Then after the season you could use it anchor a buoy.
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Unread 09-06-2018, 07:13 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

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Originally Posted by Richard Wallace View Post
Then after the season you could use it anchor a buoy.
Iím pretty sure it would attract small moons into orbit around it.
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Unread 09-06-2018, 09:00 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

At first I was like "Eeeew that seems horrible" then I thought a bit more and and actually this seems pretty slick. The big power I see in it is getting the angles more precise than you could with gusseted tubing. Additionally, even though this shows the basic WCD, I could see where you design a much more complex shape to have mount points for other parts, intakes, etc. and retain that same precision.

I feel like there could still be a lot of waste with the design presented (all those center cutouts), but more complex shapes could present more opportunity to inter-populate layers on one piece of aluminum. I could also see 3d-printing-like optimizations where inner layers are removed where not structurally needed to save weight.
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Unread 09-06-2018, 09:02 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

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Originally Posted by Richard Wallace View Post
...
Built with steel ...

Did it once in college. 0/10 do not recommend.
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Unread 09-06-2018, 09:33 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

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Originally Posted by gerthworm View Post
Did it once in college. 0/10 do not recommend.
So....would that mean that you 10/10 DO recommend?
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Unread 09-06-2018, 10:05 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

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Originally Posted by marshall View Post
I’m pretty sure it would attract small moons into orbit around it.
This could be a good thing for 2019 - there's a decent chance that small moons will be the game pieces. It will likely take a few Q&As to determine if orbiting game pieces are considered to be controlled by the robot.

#thechassisisthemanipulator
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Unread 09-06-2018, 10:43 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

Why have the outer frame rails if it's a WCD style drive train? For easier bumper mounting?
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Unread 09-06-2018, 11:02 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

That's seriously cool but the amount of waist would be huge.
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Unread 09-06-2018, 11:22 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

if you made a fully composite version of this it would be kind of cool
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Unread 09-06-2018, 11:37 AM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

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Originally Posted by jojoguy10 View Post
So....would that mean that you 10/10 DO recommend?

Syntax unclear. We'll call this a Spanish style negative reinforcement.


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... the amount of waist would be huge.
Ha! I see what you (intentionally?) did there!
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Unread 09-06-2018, 12:32 PM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

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That's seriously cool but the amount of waist would be huge.
Cool concept, Ari. Is there any reason that the middle layers cannot be just "strips" or event short sections in strategic locations that function as spacers? Only the top and bottom layers would be complete "rings" that function much like the gussets do when building a chassis out of 2 x 1 tubing.
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Unread 09-06-2018, 03:19 PM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

This was never actually meant to be a real proposal, it was a joke. I thought (and still think) this is a bad idea and has no real benefits over a traditional WCD. But since some people actually want to take it seriously, I'll answer some questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Wallace View Post
...
Built with steel, it would be the ultimate box-on-wheels defensive ram-bot.

Then after the season you could use it anchor a buoy.
I checked, and if you made the chassis out of steel it would weigh about 110 lbs. That leaves a cool 10 lbs for electronics and manipulators. No sweat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick.kremer View Post
Why have the outer frame rails if it's a WCD style drive train? For easier bumper mounting?
I always use an outer rail in my WCDs mainly for easier bumper mounting, but also for increased stiffness, wheel protection, and manipulator mounting points. I know there are other ways of doing the same things without the rain, but usually it's just a thin piece of C channel that doesn't weigh much, not a solid block of aluminum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philso View Post
Cool concept, Ari. Is there any reason that the middle layers cannot be just "strips" or event short sections in strategic locations that function as spacers? Only the top and bottom layers would be complete "rings" that function much like the gussets do when building a chassis out of 2 x 1 tubing.
Thanks! I could definitely spend time on weight savings and shave a good amount off. I made this as a joke though, so I didn't put a lot of time into it.
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Unread 09-06-2018, 03:25 PM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

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Originally Posted by marshall View Post
Iím pretty sure it would attract small moons into orbit around it.
I have to respect the gravity of that remark.*

*Especially from someone who is much better known for levity.
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Unread 09-06-2018, 04:32 PM
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Re: Reinvisioned Sheet Metal Drivetrain

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndySam View Post
That's seriously cool but the amount of waist would be huge.
If you designed all the way through before you cut, you could probably cut your smaller components out of the empty... still a lot of waste though.
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