Extruded Aluminum Frame Generator

I made this as a summer CAD project. This is designed to help teams that use extruded aluminum frames develop a frame in a few minutes rather than hours so that more time could be spent on designing other systems on the robot. This tool generates the entire metal frame for you including the bolts and nuts (provided that you use 1/4-20). What needs to be provided are the wheels, bearings, axles, hole tapping, and other attachments you need. Please provide feedback. Link for download
Key files:
[li]extrudedaluminumframeparameters.xls -place where the parameters are edited.
[/li][li]extrudedaluminumframe.iam-the generated frame
[/li][li]extrudedaluminumframe2.iam- the same as above except organized in to sub assemblies.
[/li][li]extrudedaluminumframe.dwg- drawing displaying where the parameters go and shows how to assemble the frame.
[/li][li]extrudedaluminumframe-numericdimensions.dwg- drawings with dimensions rather than parameters. Does not show how to assemble the frame.

PS. Can I use this design during the FIRST season? If anyone is from the Duluth area of Georgia, can he tell me where a good place is to get parts machined (like CNC)?

Is it bosch 20 series or 8020?

Unfortunately, it is neither; it is aluminum square tubing.

Does it have a way to compute how much weld material you’ll need? I’d say that 75-80% or more of teams who use square tubing weld it instead of bolting it. There are teams that bolt… but they’re far outnumbered by the welded ones.

Regarding the legality of using this tool during the 2014 or other future build season, I would say that it falls into the same category as JVN’s design calculator–it’s a publicly available design aid, therefore, not regulated in any way by FIRST. Now, the designs that come from it would be illegal if not generated after Kickoff. (Also note: I’m making the assumption that the rules on timing and tools don’t change next year. I could be very wrong.)

No, but I could make an addition to the tool.
Thanks for clarifying the rule.

Note: I haven’t tested this yet.

  1. Do you use gussets or internal blocks for bolting frame members together?
  2. Is the frame generated by this accessible from another computer through a server such as Autodesk 360 without having the parameters on that computer?
  3. How well does this work in SolidWorks?
  1. Internal blocks.
  2. Hmmm, I’m not really sure. From my experience when you delete the linked spreadsheet from the part, the dimensions stay. I think you should be fine if you send the generated frame without the parameters.
  3. I’m not sure how you can convert this type of project into solidworks without losing the ability to edit the parameters. Can someone tell me how?