HI! I recently helped found a new FRC team, and we are looking into what tools and other machinery we need for this season, were trying to design a dream FRC setup! Help would be greatly appreciated. thank you!
Take a look at Allen’s post here:
It’s going to depend on how much you have to spend. One minor but very annoying detail that gets overlooked is what brand and design wrenches you buy. Particularly the box end side, there’s a built in tapper to make the wrench easy to put on the fastener. We have a bunch of harbor freight wrenches and that tapper runs a little deep which is fine for normal fasteners but is problematic for the thin jam nut lock nuts often used. Its not a huge deal and very minor in the grand scheme of things but its a pet peeve of mine and can be frustrating to new build team members
I spent 11 years of my career building up what was almost a dream shop. I say almost because it needed more square feet and more workbenches. Never underestimate the value of good workbenches. But it had everything else.
Anyhow, if I had to do it again, I would do it very differently. The downside to having a lot of stuff is that there’s a lot to maintain. Running a full well equipped shop and keeping it in tip-top shape becomes almost a full time job.
Starting over, with a sufficient budget, I would do a fiber laser, a good air compressor for the laser, a press brake, a few good 3D printers, and some nice computers. Realize, this is probably a $150k+ list, and many teams do just fine without any of these things.
Oh, and a Milwaukee M12 rivet puller.
The very basics:
(1) Drill Press & Drill Press Vice
(2) Something to cut straight perpendicular lines in Aluminum – lots of teams use a miter saw with an aluminum-cutting blade
(3) Imperial hex wrenches with handles (not just L-shaped allen wrenches).
(5) Good adjustable wrench
(6) battery-powered hand-drill
(7) a vise of some kind
There are lots and lots of other tools that will be helpful. But, those 7 are the things that regularly see the most use on our team.
If you really want a ‘dream FRC setup,’ then the list is a lot longer and will include things like a 3D printer, a CNC router, a mill and a metal lathe.
Budget matters the most in this sense, how much do you have to spend on basic materials/tools, how much youll spend on a robot, how much for batteries, etc etc.
Depending on your budget, you can get either the bare basics, some fairly good tools/equipment, or you can get some of the best tools in FRC. But i would aim if I were a starting team to get the bare basics or fair equipment, then ease yourself over the years to get better and more advanced stuff like Mills, Lathes, CNC’s, 3d Printers, all of that stuff. Starting off with a drill press, a banesaw, one or two vises is pretty good for a 1st year.
Also finding good mentors makes a huge difference!
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