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Unread 11-09-2018, 01:18 AM
FMS FMS is offline
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Belly Pans

Why do teams use belly pans on WCD other than to mount electronics? The extra weight and complexity doesn't seem worth it. I did some FEA sims and found that you cant really mount a major mechanism to the pan without reinforcing it.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 01:34 AM
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Re: Belly Pans

Some reasons I could think of off the top of my head: Protecting the bottom of the robot or providing cross-bracing for the side members of the drivetrain.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 01:36 AM
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Re: Belly Pans

The main reason is to increase torsional stiffness of the chassis. Without a bellypan the chassis can become quite flexible when another robot hits it.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 01:59 AM
Marcus Q Marcus Q is offline
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Re: Belly Pans

Usually helps to hold the battery too.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 02:21 AM
Jeremy Germita Jeremy Germita is offline
 
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Re: Belly Pans

Most teams don't mount mechanisms straight to their bellypans. They usually attach to the drivetrain or other superstructure somehow.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 02:40 AM
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Re: Belly Pans

On a related note: what's the best way to attach a bellypan to a WCD chassis? Mount bellypan directly to the bottom of the chassis with rivets? Doesn't that eat up some of your ground clearance? Thanks!
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Unread 11-09-2018, 02:48 AM
Marcus Q Marcus Q is offline
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Re: Belly Pans

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Originally Posted by Nick.kremer View Post
On a related note: what's the best way to attach a bellypan to a WCD chassis? Mount bellypan directly to the bottom of the chassis with rivets? Doesn't that eat up some of your ground clearance? Thanks!
99% of the time teams use rivets. I guess you could weld it if you had the resources but rivet heads are already pretty thin.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 02:58 AM
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Re: Belly Pans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Q View Post
99% of the time teams use rivets. I guess you could weld it if you had the resources but rivet heads are already pretty thin.
And they attach the bellypan directly to the bottom of the chassis?
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Unread 11-09-2018, 03:01 AM
Jeremy Germita Jeremy Germita is offline
 
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Re: Belly Pans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick.kremer View Post
And they attach the bellypan directly to the bottom of the chassis?
Yeah. Most bellypans aren't going to be much thicker than 1/8" (except for some thicker plywood bellypans.) + the head height of a rivet (0.063 for a 3/16" rivet) means you won't lose too much ground clearance.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 03:08 AM
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Re: Belly Pans

Thanks for the info everyone!
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Unread 11-09-2018, 08:13 AM
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Re: Belly Pans

also it keeps game pieces from getting caught in the works....when we are playing with game pieces that can get caught in the works. Fuel last year, for example. Not a problem with this year's cubes, but it can be an issue.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 08:40 AM
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Re: Belly Pans

We do all sheet metal robots. We use a belly pan and it does provide a nice place to mount electronics. Furthermore, it does provide SIGNIFICANT bracing for the chassis. Once we put on the belly pan, the entire chassis is solid as a rock. In 2017 we did actually mount the fuel intake to the belly pan. For two years we have used 0.063" for the belly pan and i feel that the very little added weight is a good trade off for the more robust chassis.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 10:05 AM
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Re: Belly Pans

We use a belly pan primarily for electronics. In the past we have used lexan, typically 1/4" (sponsors donate a ton each year), to allow for protection on the bottom along with being shock mounting, protecting the electronics a little from vibrations as much and not being able to short to the frame as easily (through the mounts to other electronics incase of an issue). We used 1/8" aluminum this year for segmented belly pans (3 separate pans, front, middle and rear) that just mounted on the bottom of a couple rails. We are going to try to shift to like .08 aluminum for a belly pan next season to save weight.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 12:36 PM
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Re: Belly Pans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick.kremer View Post
Mount bellypan directly to the bottom of the chassis with rivets? Doesn't that eat up some of your ground clearance?
Countersunk rivets.
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Unread 11-09-2018, 01:01 PM
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Re: Belly Pans

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Originally Posted by Jeremy Germita View Post
Yeah. Most bellypans aren't going to be much thicker than 1/8" (except for some thicker plywood bellypans.) + the head height of a rivet (0.063 for a 3/16" rivet) means you won't lose too much ground clearance.
To build on this a bit more: if you're worried about 1/8" of ground clearance incapacitating your robot then you need to change your design, or rearrange your priorities. 1/2" is a valid concern. With the tolerances on the field, finding an 1/8" lip somewhere is pretty much a guarantee, even if it's just a buildup of gaffers tape or a fold in the carpet. Even your wheels are likely to wear down that much.

Last edited by Tom Line : 11-09-2018 at 01:21 PM.
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