Expand our FRC/FTC Team

Hi, I do not necessarily represent the rest of my team, but I am posting for advice on growing our team. I think that we are limited in part by the materials we use- scrap metal, not pre-drilled, so we hand-drill things which has innacuracy. Does anyone have suggestions for “kits” like technic legos or predrilled metal that we could obtain? I have seen teams that have bars that appear to have inch-by inch spacing of holes and I think those would be a much better way to build things. Any advice for obtaining such better building “kits” or metal pieces?

Versaframe is a nice way to supplement for minimal machining and manufacturing resources, or to save time.

Spend some time digging around these forums, especially the images, and ask lots of questions! Teams love to brag about how they made things.

For FTC I recommend Tetrix. That is what our middle school team used and it was pretty straightforward. https://www.tetrixrobotics.com/

For FRC I second the VersaFrame recommendation.

I say this with all my past employers known: friends don’t let friends use TETRIX.

AndyMark has better motors. More ratios, more robust, encoders integrated. (I notice just looking now that TETRIX is blowing out their motors “while supplies last”.) REV’s 40:1 HD Hex is also plenty relevant and fine, and their Core Hex motor is an intriguing offering too.

AndyMark, Actobotics, and REV all have infinitely better hub options. Set screws for transmitting torque was a bad idea when I started in FIRST in 2004, and TETRIX is still doing it in 2018.

I haven’t held Actobotics channel in my hands lately, but AndyMark (S3) and REV (15mm) each have more compact structure–and that’s significant when dealing with a small 18" box.

AndyMark Stealth Wheels are significantly cheaper than TETRIX wheels ($6 vs $10), they’re grippier, and there are more hub options (including REV’s 5mm hex). If you want skinnier than 1", REV has theirs that are 15mm wide and feel like they have a good bite to them.

And we aren’t even talking about VEX, which has dipped its toes back in the FTC pond and hasn’t done their big spring unveil of EDR product they traditionally do at VEX Worlds. It wouldn’t shock me one bit if some of those parts were very relevant to FTC too.

If I was starting from zero in FTC, REV and AndyMark have compelling offerings with a pretty strong point of view, and if you want that punched-metal life Actobotics is a common sight among top FTC teams too. But it would take something exceptional for me to shell out money with TETRIX.

As for the FRC side: VersaFrame is a good look. We tend to source tubing locally and drill as necessary since it’s usually cheaper, but even still a stockpile of their gussets is a huge time-saver.

Versaframe all the way for FRC. We’ve slowly grown a stock-pile of 1x1 and 2x1 (buy before the season, save what you don’t use) and just get a bunch of T-gussets, cut them down to L-gussets for use in corners. You can also get their linear slide gussets and the spacers & bearings to go with it, and you have an easy way to build a sliding extension or an elevator if needed.

Our FTC team started with TEXTRIX. Their D shaft with set-screw only retained hubs is really poor engineering. I spent a considerable amount of time with a wet stone removing the high metal on scored shafts, after the set-screw slipped.

The REV Robotics 5mm Hex shaft and hubs looks like a much better solution.

I competed in FTC back when Tetrix brand components were the only parts you were allowed to use…

With what you are allowed to use today…I’ll just echo what everyone else has said. Don’t use it.

FRC: Versaframe

FTC: Actobotics and Rev for kit-of-part builds (Using Andymark NeveRest Motors and Wheels)

I can’t express this enough either… Quoting Billfred…

Friends don’t let friends use TETRIX.