2020 Hood material

Hello all,

Our team is curious as to the shooting differences between polycarb sheets versus (aluminum) sheet metal. Our team created a wooden mockup using (well wood), and polycarb for the hood portion and we’re about to move onto the metal mockups soon and were wondering if we can/should switch to sheet metal for this portion of the shooter. How does the power cells handel either material? With our current polycarb hood, we can hit 35 ft and we don’t want to comprise that shooting distance. Is there any other recommended material for the hood portion besides sheet metal or polycarb?

the balls grip EVERYTHING, I doubt you would have a problem w/ metal but if you did you could probably add grip tape

We made our first hood prototype out of two aluminum rods that we bent, and we are only hitting from about 25 ~ 30 feet. I don’t know what type of motors your team is using or if the aluminum not being a full sheet is affecting the ball’s distance, but I thought you might want to know that.

We have been testing a variety of material:

  • Polycarbonate
  • 5052-H32 Aluminum
  • Aluminum covered in gaffers tape
  • Aluminum covered in duct tape
  • Wood (Not sure what kind)

Aluminum seems to work very well, but we never experienced downsides with polycarbonate. I’d suggest either one. We experimented with wood mostly to monitor certain shapes of hoods. Our team especially worked with the “squish” factor of the ball. We carefully controlled the entrance size and exit size on our shooter. I would probably recommend switching to wood - less likely to tear up balls, and although the polycarbonate is lightweight, if not reinforced properly to have consistent form, I’d suggest aluminum for rigidity. Young’s modulus. If you can reinforce it, that’s fine too. Either should work well. Again, our team didn’t see a problem in material but mostly shape & baseline dimensions. Good luck!

I think our design holds these constant / equal to each other all the way through the design, did you find significant gains from varying the compression between each end?

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If you can stand the embarrassment of putting it out on the field, cardboard works really well, is easily replaced and adjusted, is easy to find and is CHEAP.

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Hey, if it works, it works. We will have a piece of cardboard on our bot!

Yes - our exit distance is about 2.25” smaller than our entrance. Gradual curve. Certain sizes help get straighter shots, which can be beneficial in some cases. Others compress the ball to much and when it reinflates in air, it could be less accurate.

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