Better material shopping list for field element build

Last year in particular had a lot of field elements to construct. The plans that were published by FIRST were all dimensioned well enough and commented so that you could tell how to construct everything, and what material each piece was made from.

However, there’s not an overall material purchase list or a cut list … so we always spend awhile trying to calculate that all before going to the store. Plus it means that trying to figure out which pieces to lay out on a single 4’x8’ plywood sheet to maximize field elements per dollar is pretty tough.

Is there anyone that puts together a better guide for this? I know some groups hosting kickoffs get the plans early (hush hush), but I don’t know if their versions have cut/material lists?

Help a mentor out :ahh:

From what I’ve heard, the kickoff volunteers get the same team plans we get.

The plans given out prior to kick off are incomplete. They only include some of the key elements. The people receiving the plans are sworn to Uber secrecy.

This thread has a lot of discussion about a similar topic. In answer to your question, no. There isn’t an inclusive cut list created by FIRST, but I’ve no idea if any teams do their own and release it early in Week 1.

I’d still love to see FIRST give us a cut list sometime around now, or just after Christmas. Our field element construction would’ve gone a lot quicker and been much less of a headache if we could have had the materials in hand on Day 1.

Which is why you’re unlikely to get any real answer in this thread. There may be some people that are planning on putting together a cut list and materials list for after kickoff, but I wouldn’t be able to say for certain that’s the case, or even which people might be planning such a thing…

The likelihood of anything being released prior to kickoff is basically nil. From what I’ve heard, FIRST tightened their field builder restrictions even more this year. Don’t hold your breath.

I think the best you could hope for is one of the field builders creating a more succinct shopping list and posting it here after kickoff.

This doesn’t completely solve your problem, but it might make it easy for one of your mentors to quickly go grab those supplies while the team reads the game manual.

I personally wouldn’t want a pre-kickoff material list. Most years, we don’t build according to Hoyle (in 2013 we built a quarter pyramid and shot at masking tape goals; 2016 we didn’t even attempt the sally port or portcullis). If we had purchased the full list, we would have been out more money and more space.
We have also used spare scrap to make some field elements; unless the shopping list also included cut lengths (which it wouldn’t), we wouldn’t buy early anyway.

I do agree with your assertion that it would be nice to have nesting patterns and/or purchasing guides released with the drawings.

I think this is the biggest reason why FIRST doesn’t publish a single complete list. Teams are widely different, and depending on how you tackle the game you may only build a portion of the field. I know in 2013 we didn’t even build 1/4 of a pyramid - we used the materials from our BreakAway climbing tower to build a sloped structure that was only a couple of inches wider than the robot and matched the separation dimensions of the levels of the pyramid. Last year, we only build a few of the defenses that we were worried about being able to complete.

Same here. We figured it out with all the wasted cost and time of a full tower in 2013 when a lumber-supported quarter would have done us as well - and been possible to take to demos. In 2016, we decided early a few things not to do, so we did not build a rung, drawbridge, or sally port. Our rock wall was much simpler than the team version, and a better simulation of the steel one – three 2"x6" boards stacked and screwed together atop the outer works base.

Thanks all.

I don’t need any sort of material or cut list early, and we may also need to only build portions of the field elements.

Basically what I’m looking for is a material list to start from. Right now, we have to go through all of the drawings and calculate how many sheets of plywood and 2"x?"s we need to cut all of the pieces out of.

If anyone goes through the work of figuring that out, once we have the plans, that would be a good resource to share around.