CAD Team How many members

Hello CD

I’m from team 3081 The RoboEagles. This year and every year before this year our team hasn’t been the best at the design process and are usual excuse is time, But I have seen some teams only take 3 days to do CAD. I know personally soloing a job in autodesk takes around a week and that was just for a simple puzzle cube. So the question is how many members do teams out there have working on CAD.

Team 2175 had three dedicated CADers (two students and one mentor) and we also had two people who could help if we needed them to. It took us about a week in a half to CAD all the major stuff with small changes being added right up to the day before ship. We would like to have a group of about five dedicated members of our CAD team, anything more then that and i think it gets to large to get work done effectifly. Ideally we would have one person for each subteam of any given year. We also use Solidworks.

Team 1676’s CAD Subteam, has a total of 7 members and 1 mentor
What we did this year, was have 1 or 2 members work with a different subteam to CAD their parts. (Chassis, Mechanical, Electrical, Pneumatics)
While with the unusually high number of CADers meant we should have finished, before the CAD submission date, it was difficult, when our team kept changing things all the way up to shipdate. It really would be ideal to keep the subteam to 5 people. We painfully use Auto Desk Inventor. :stuck_out_tongue:

Really you don’t need that many people to get the CAD done, you just need a lot of people do get it done quickly. I was the lone CADder this year, and I had never done a full FRC robot before(my offseason project was swerve). This caused the process to be elongated: I only finished the drivetrain completely end of week 3 and the final hood was done by end of week 5. This cut it really close. I came out a 20 times better CADder than I came into the season as, and feel now, that after I have successfully finished a full robot(we were picked in for elims for the first time), I think I can finish a complete robot in 3 weeks, by myself. So lessons learned: train a lot of people before the season and have them do a full robot(especially with your preferable drivetrain). The benefits are immense.

We have 6 students that know how to use Solidworks. Not all of them are capable of designing a complete robot so we split up the tasks and give people jobs that they can actually do in a reasonable amount of time. For example, there are a couple of students that can only make drawings and use them to test out a concept. They are not familiar with using actual parts and assemblies. We asked them to dimension a bridge tipper by finding out the lengths.Later, a more experienced student would create an assembly out of the drawing. Even if someone is not fully capable using CAD, they can still do something to speed up the process.

3397 has one CADer, me. So, I don’t design stuff that we already know how to build (we use the KOP chassis every year). I only CAD up new mechanisms that are being prototyped. This year I CADed the shooter and the ball lift tower.

This question is highly subjective. Team to team, based on a team’s resources, design process, experience and prototyping, CAD can take between around 1-4 weeks with 1+ students. It is important, however, to differentiate (and in doing so realize how they can and should be intertwined) the time and students taken by the design process and that taken by the actual Computer Aided Design of the competition robot. To be successful, a design process should incorporate the testing of ideas in both theoretical and physical media. By this I mean that a design should be optimized in your CAD package before being further pursued. In this way, CAD and initial design overlap from the start. Of course, once a design is decided upon, they are one and the same.

For the past 3 years, I have been the lone Computer Aided Designer on my team(s). I usually finish in around 2 weeks, with certain systems designed after or during the initial manufacturing. I have found that while I have gotten extremely used to working alone in really designing the robot, the system is not sustainable. The 2013 season will be my 6th and last as a student, and it is thus crucial for the team’s success and sustainability that I form, train and develop a CAD team. MorTorq’s CAD team in the 2013 season will consist of approximately 4 core members. It is a requirement, however, that members of the mechanical team display competency and ability in CAD.

I find that it is crucial that you trust each and every member of the CAD team. Otherwise, you will fail to maintain both a fluid image and design as well as proper design practices. It is my suggestion that you train anyone willing to learn in your team’s package of choice (I think you mentioned Inventor), but come season, only the dedicated few (under or around 5) work on the implementation of the design.

We encourage all the members(students/ parents/mentors) to gain a basic knowledge of the Solidworks package. The team provides various levels of CAD training. Each team member needs to know how/where the files are saved. How to open the assemblies to see where each part goes. How to create a critical to function drawing of the 3D part for manufacturing. We start the CAD training as new members and they get 4 years to learn how to build a robot. We have brought in professional Solidwork instructors over the summer. One of the cool things about our team is we have mentors provide design and manufacturing input while the team members are CADING up parts. How to manufacture the parts and be cost effective is just as important as how to design the parts.

CAD is one of the most important aspects of being able to build a powerhouse robot year in year out. Each generation of team adds to our knowledge base of building cool robots.

Our team had five this year. Our two seniors worked on the chassis and loader systems, one sophomore on the shooter, one sophomore on the electronics board (not too intensive), and a junior (me) on our bridge manipulator. Our mentors don’t know their way around CAD like we do, but they know a lot more about the engineering process than we do, which we learn. From what I understand, it’s important to assign a person or two to one system of your robot. Teams that tend to have one or two on CAD tend not to do so well. That’s implying that those teams solely use CAD in designing the robot, in which many teams to my understanding don’t.

Our team had official CAD team of 4. 2 mentors + 2 students. We use CAD as a tool to visualize mechanisms or to have specs to build things from. We rarely CAD the whole robot in a purpose-built program (Solidworks) due to computer hardware limitations, but one of our mentors likes to sit in a closet and copy finished parts into Blender.

We have one mentor (myself) 1 veteran student and two rookie senior students that joined this year. They’re graduating of course so next year the only guaranteed members will be our one veteran student and myself.

Off topic though, shouldn’t this discussion be in the CAD forum? I know there’s already quite an extensive thread in that sub-forum about how your CAD teams are organized.

Edit: Here’s a link to said thread.