I posted a simple question to my Facebook page a couple days ago.
What are your favorite McMaster-Carr robot parts other teams should know about?
Other sources are cool too.
A lot of people contributed some awesome answers that I will share below. If you have some more great products teams should know about feel free to post.
I’ve tried to clean up the lists a bit and remove duplicates, but I’m sure there still are some. I added team numbers where I knew them off the top of my head for some people. I tried to keep as much of what the comments said but did some minor editing to make it readable as a single post. Part Numbers in bold are McMaster part numbers, just search for them on McMaster.com
T. Holtzman (2056)
- Fairline Rollers - A. Gregory added - “Fixture works sales them with various bores include 1.125” which fit FRC hubs. https://www.fixtureworks.net/store/pc/Roller-Only-c1702.htm Used as shooter wheels in various games by many teams including 2056, 1114, etc.”
J. Germita (5012)
- 0.1950" Reamer - Use with a lathe to convert WCP BAG/RS550 aluminum pinions into 775 pinions - 8307A356
- 0.1955" Reamer - same as above, but for steel! - 1004A12
- Loctite gluestick! No more wasted spilled loctite! - 5099A34
- 5/32" Dia cleco temporary fasteners. Great for installation of gussets and general sheet metal assembly - 5099A51
- Cleco installation pliers - 2289T41
- 1.9" omni wheels - kinda like the ones 118 use sometimes - 8585K108
- 5/8" ID polycarbonate round tubing. Good for quick spacers on hex shaft if you don’t really care about the OD of the spacer being concentric with your shaft. - 3161T31
- 1x1x1/8" Clear polycarbonate square tubing! Great for applications that call for 1x1 but not necessarily aluminum.
Picks from amazon and other sources:
- Heat sinks for BAG motors
- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01F743EWY - 1.9mm spectra cable
- we used this on our 2016 climber, good for wherever you’d need a small cable to pull something but don’t need steel - https://www.amazon.com/Feet-550lb-Braided.../dp/B005URJ644 - Collapsible pit seating
- https://www.amazon.com/Insta-Bench-IBC3.../dp/B001TL1UD0 - 1 1/8 step drill bit
- MUST HAVE for versaframe assembly. decent enough fit for 1 1/8 bearings. a steady hand and some care and you can actually make some decent gearbox plates on a drillpress - https://www.amazon.com/Neiko.../dp/B000RP82F8/ref=sr_1_3… - Only flush cutters worth using IMO
- we love how flush you can cut off excess zip-tie ends. https://www.amazon.com/Hakko.../dp/B0063GL7UM/ref=sr_1_2… - 2.125 mecanum wheels
- like 254 2016 and 1323 2016-2017 intakes. 2363 has a neat tutorial on adapting these for hex on CD-media - - Passive PoE injectors
118 Alumni - R. Stockton, C. Grat, E. Reed
- Silicone Tubing We stretched this over 1.25" and 1.125" tubing for intake rollers - 18635A52, 18635A54
- Turn Table Bearings, also from Amazon - 94290A571
- Star Nuts - You can press these threaded inserts into the ends of tubes to get a 1/4-20 thread in the center of them. We used them on some non-FRC projects. - Pololu Step-Down Voltage Regulator D15V70F5S3
- 7A 12v to 5v converter for powering lights, computing, etc. - 6208K484
- Flexible couplers. They come in a ton of different sizes and they also allow for some misalignment. We turn down one of the drivetrain shafts to a 1/4" and then use these to couple it to the encoder. These are a good alternative if you don’t trust the surgical tubing method. (WCP also sales ¼” ones here - http://www.wcproducts.net/clamping-shaft-collars - A. Lawerance)
A. Gregory (3847)
- Rubber Sheet used as the back wall of our shooter this year. - 1872A71
- Slide-snap bumper latches but we buy them from here now https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/productdetails.asp?RecID=4660 Teams like Neutrino, 1296, & 971 have used them for bumper latches, Aren Hill is the first person I know to use them for this. Spectrum used them for our bumpers plus attaching our shooter and gear mechanisms this season.
Photos of them in use
- Polycord Belting
- https://www.mcmaster.com/#urethane-belts/=1a474hh - 94639A549
- nylon spacers - Annular Cutter
- If you can get a drill chuck that can do 3/4" a 1-1/8" annular cutter is better than the step drill and not much more money. - https://www.ebay.com/itm/170988131471 - Cheap import flush cutters
- https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1pcs-Nipper-Hand-Tools-Practical-Electrical-Wire-Cable-Cutters-Cutting-Side-Snips-Flush-Pliers-Mini-Pliers/32789342938.html?spm=a2g0s.90423184.108.40.206BI7QZ - Nylon Clevis / Rod Ends for pneumatics and gas spring
- Hex Tubes possible to convert ½” hex to ¼” hex without a broach - 1575A65
- Hinge with 2" hole spacing so you can just cut it and mount it directly to VersaFrame, etc - 9576T75
- Metal Buckle for battery strap, worked well this year, definitely stronger than the plastic ones we used in the past. - Zoro.com - Also we buy a lot of our stuff that you would normally get from McMaster from Zoro.com because it’s normally cheaper and free shipping over $50 order event for oversized items like 8ft stock, etc. Plus they regularly have 20% off deals.
- Drill bits for plastic. They really do make a difference. (https://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/123/2459)
- Replace nuts or bolts with knobs for things you want to remove without tools (https://www.mcmaster.com/#machine-component-knobs/=1a4847o)
A. Heard (973)
- Keystone 4337 from digikey, mouser etc - We use them as small angle brackets… Probably had 100 on this year’s robot. Combined with 2d parts they can make low resource compound angle 3d structure
- If you like the angle brackets, you’ll probably also like “Nylon Unthreaded Spacers” https://www.mcmaster.com/#unthreaded-nylon-spacers/=1a4zr23
- https://www.mcmaster.com/#94850A129 for attaching bumpers and superstructures in a way that makes them easily removable from the drive base
- https://www.mcmaster.com/#5053k31 for rock-solid pneumatic connections (we had problems with push-to-connect fittings leaking in 2016)
- These gun taps can be used with a hand drill (if you’re careful and use lubricant). Nice and fast:https://www.mcmaster.com/#2687a48/=1a4ladr
- We also have a whole boat load of these on the robot to hold down cable: https://www.mcmaster.com/#7566k31/=1a4lawg, https://www.mcmaster.com/#7566k28/=1a4lbay
- These are great for anchoring chain in a lift, #25 and #35 respectively (wish it came in a left hand thread to make a chain turnbuckle): https://www.mcmaster.com/#9634K23 https://www.mcmaster.com/#9634K25
A. Britt (3478)
- Dark Soul Chain Break for 25 chain - makes quick work of changing chains http://www.davesmotors.com/DarkSoul-25-Chain-Breaker-Tool-3466.html
- MISUMI stocks turnbuckles for #25 and #35 chain. Used them to tension elevators in 2015 to great success: https://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/detail/110302655040/?Inch=0
- I am a fan of 6425K11
for a solenoid. Not small, but it shoves the air through. (But then, I know AutomationDirect probably has a competitor for 2/3 of the price; we ordered those from McMaster in 2015.) - 6338K421
was our weapon of choice in 2012 for the intake and elevator. We had a structure of 1" square tubing and wanted to use 1/2" hex shaft (because that was the best option of the day). So we turned the ends of each shaft
lazy susan… there’s a lot of things I like from them but this one is really cool and fun to have.
** K. Buchanan (1296)**
- “Deburring Wheel for grinder, 4628A21
(saves a lot of deburring time)”
(and similar) - Aluminum Conveyor Roller