Building the Element

How are people building the elements this year?

these are the 2 main things (1 can be broken up) that need to be built.

The goals meaning
at least 1 of the 2pointers
at least 1 of the 1pointers (maybe)
and just 1 3 pointer

the pyramid meaning
1 pyramid with goal ontop.

The problem with everything, is that they are extremely tall (taller than Rebound rumble hoops i think.) and the pyramid also needs to hold a robot (or a few)

How is your team doing it? and where are you keeping it all?

A word of warning/caution regarding the team version of the pyramid… The Philly kickoff had the team versions of the elements and the pyramid did not seem very sturdy at all. I’m not sure of the exact reason since I didn’t look too closely, but the joints were wooden and the base looked like it wasn’t perfectly square.

We weren’t allowed to touch the pyramid at the Pewaukee kickoff at all.

FIRST released the Team Drawings that show simpler ways to build the field elements. Like Deetman said, though, I’m not sure how well the pyramid will hold up. The design calls for the brackets on the corners to be 3/4" plywood and U-Bolts.

I’m really unsure as to where to store these things once we build them. The goals and feeder shouldn’t be difficult to make and store, but finding somewhere to keep a pyramid, or designing a collapsible one, might be challenging.

I feel like the goals can be fairly easily simulated by some cardboard boxes placed at different heights. You could tape up the boxes wherever you practice?

As far as the pyramid is concerned, I have no earthly idea. I suppose we’re going to try to build 1/2 or something and drag it in and out of cold storage.

  • Sunny G.

We’re thinking of just making a half pyramid and sticking it next to a wall. Unfortunately, I don’t think FIRST was very nice this year. The thing is enormous…how are most teams supposed to fit this in their workshops and still have room to build the darn robot? Also, the dimensions for some of the components are terrible…24.25" pipe? 48.54" pipe? You kidding me? Just make it in integer feet segments. Those are much easier to buy. Now everyone has to go out and get pipe cutters and waste nearly foot long segments.


If you have a sponsor that can do welding (or if you can do welding) couldn’t you just send them the technical drawings of the pyramid and ask them to make it?

We (The RoboBees, FRC 836) plans on building the actual field pyramid. We may make modifications to the top scoring area (wood vs. polycarbonate), however.

If any teams are in the DC metro area do not have access to the field elements and would like to test on it or use it for practice, please get in contact with me via PM or send an email to [email protected]. We plan on having it complete this week thanks to help from 4514 Terminatrix.

Are any KC Area teams building the pyramid?? We have NO space for this, but we are willing to chip in some money to help with the cost.

i was involved assembling the the low-cost pyramid (we called it the lunar lander), and boy was it scary. Teams should not waste money on u-bolts and and 3/4"plywood.

I cannot give a definitive answer at the moment, but the senior design committee of BV CAPS Metal Mustang Robotics are looking into creating a full sized, metal, competition-spec’d pyramid. If all goes to plan then we will simply put it in the atrium of the district facility we utilize and will only need move it a few feet to practice. I can bring it up with the Mentors on whether we can have open practices on it some late Saturdays in competition, or appointment times on nights.

Good to know, thanks.

We built the team pyramid for the Rochester, MN kick off with a few modifications from the plan…

We used EMT instead of black iron pipe. We made the joint plates a bit bigger and use conduit clamps instead of U-Bolts (much cheaper than U-bolts and we also got the EMT and clamps donated by our electrical supply house sponsor.

We also found that if we removed the top goal, and six of the horizontal rungs (on opposing sides) what is left are two A frames – these fit through a standard commercial doorway (not sure of the door way dimensions but it was the school cafeteria doors. Now the big pieces are stored in the schools maintenance area. Not sure when we’ll be putting it back together… We’ll probably build a mock pyramid with just essential elements that we want to use for climbing.

How does it “feel”?

I plan to help build the pyramid so I did a little reading today. I noticed the team drawing design and the competition design have minor differences in specifications. The team drawing calls for 1 1/4" pipe (1.66 o.d.) with a 60 degree pyramid angle while the competition design calls for 1 1/2" tubing (1.5" o.d. plus powder coating) with a 68 degree pyramid angle. So, which design will we build!!!

I have not built a pyramid yet but building the field elements the past many years leads me to one idea. Just for in school testing, not pre-contest event.

Making just one side not four.

Determine the width of the top (90 inch high) bar. Say it is 24 inches for example ( I have not done it yet). Make all 3 pipes, 30, 60 & 90 just the 24 inches wide. I would build it with 2 x 4s or 2 x 6s and the metal pipe. So the wood acts like stair stringers. Hole saw cuts a circle in the wood to slide the pipe through. Fastener to keep the pipe from spinning.

On a future game note, unless your robot can adjust left and right on the way up, you better start “perfectly” centered on the 30 inch tall pipe.

IF I CAD one up in SolidWorks I could share the drawings but it is not our top priority this week.

Good Luck!

St. Paul Minn. 2450

Our EMT based pyramid was unwieldy to build (we built for rung squares, and then added the legs, then the goal assembly. to add the goal we screwed it from below into the goal tray. When we used a clamp as a ‘hook’ to hold the goal down while screwing the structure flexed and pieces moved about 3" or more from their rest position. I wouldn’t want to hang a robot (full weight) from the middle of a low rung and it will flex a lot, it not deform.

We used screws to attach the legs to the 2x4 wedge pieces – we should have pre-drilled with a long bit because some of them started to split…

Who likes honey?
We do!!! Lol I don’t know if you guys still remember us, but you bought honey for a member of our team last year (2537).
So if I understand what you’re saying, it’s that you guys are building THE ACTUAL pyramid that FRC detailed in “The Arena” section? Not the team section

LOL. I know all of the backstory with this one…

We plan to build a slightly modified version, but will have a gusseted and welded pyramid that should be very similar to the ACTUAL pyramid.

Tentatively, I would say go for building with 1.5" 68 degree angle simply because that is what is defined in the game manual, which therefor means what would be on the field. If your robot isn’t too dependent on the thickness of the piping, then you can go 1.25" tubing (I haven’t done any research on this yet so I dunno if going smaller would cut costs or not.).