First attempt at single piece bumpers!

Finally pulled the trigger on doing single piece bumpers this season. After being too afraid before, some students and I have worked throughout the season having a bumper system with just one piece and four quick connect mounts for instant bumper switching. Red and Blue bumpers haven’t been wrapped yet. Wanted to test out our wrapping technique before going all in. That bar between the gap is not part of the bumper. It’s a bar with quick connect pieces on both sides used as a handle and to keep the sides from collapsing during transport and wrapping. It gets removed before being placed on the frame.



Wow, those look amazing!

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Can you show a close up of your quick connect releases with the bolt going horizontally? Hard to see from the picture but it looks cool. Got a link to them on mcmaster or somewhere too?

If I was a defender I would avoid hitting you because those bumpers are so beautiful


Ohhh, yeah. I’d like to know where you got the quick connect system too. Please, please post a link!
Bumpers look great!

First off, those bumpers look amazing, great job on them!

Second, I would be slightly concerned about these bumpers not passing inspection under R22 C.

“R22 C. May not substitute logos or icons for numerals”

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I would be even more concerned about the color, but the OP explicitly said they not the competition bumpers.
It’s good to put it out there though in case they were planning on using the same type of numbers.


Green alliances should totally be a thing.

I was just making sure because I was literally cutting the numbers for my team when I saw this post, and since I was vinyl cutting all our number at the same time, I was like “Well I hope they didn’t cut out all their 0’s to be like that”.


We have always stayed in compliance with bumper rules. Our competition bumpers feature our 701 without the cross hair.

Google Photos


These are v locks used most commonly in cinema/video rigs.

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Those look SLICK, good job!

Any tips on making your bumper fabric that tight? We always seem to get some slack caught in the fabric.

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Looks beautiful. How did you do the fold on the corners.

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It would be best to explain this with a video or diagrams since there are some nuances, but I’ll try my best to explain in text but it won’t have all the details that visual steps could show:

For this style, we start from the first end that has a number and we staple the fabric to the end. For us that is the left segment of the open side. From there I wrap all the way around until the fabric reaches the other end and staple that down. I then do some loose staples in the vicinity of the numbers to keep them lined up as they are applied by heat press before wrapping.

I go back to the first end and pull the loose fabric over the left side until that fabric is flat on top of the front and back wood. I staple that bit of fabric to the top of the wood on the front and back plywood so it forms a taut membrane over the entire left side and some overlap on the back and front since thats where we stapled it. I then use a box cutter to cut that membrane along the edge of the plywood that faces the robot and stop at each corner so that the membrane can neatly fold down as a rectangular flap into the left side and then staple and trim excess fabric. The key to not having wrinkles is also not to pull the fabric and force it. You just want barely enough tension to eliminate slack, but not so much that you’ve caused raised creases from the pressure points on the staples. Flip the bumper over and repeat the pull-staple-cut-staple process for the underside of the left side. Rotate the bumper and do the same for the top and bottom of the right side. Then all that’s left is to fold in the corners of the bumpers like you were doing a miter type fold on a gift wrap. That leaves the front and back with trapezoid shaped flaps. Take the trapezoidal flap, pull gently and staple it down. Then tuck the corners in and superglue to keep them from untucking. Grab some nice looking tape and cover up those unsightly staples and fabric to keep it from fraying (we like gaffer’s tape since it sticks pretty ok to fabric and wood, smooths down well, and has a nice matte finish)

The reason I do it in this order is because it has been most successful for me. So the summarized order of stapling for this one piece bumper goes: left front end, right front end, left top, left bottom, right top, right bottom, back top, back bottom, front left top, front left bottom, front right top, front right bottom.


I have a reply just down the thread explaining the stapling process as best I can on how the wrapping is done.

Don’t worry about that, our competition bumpers are wrapped in Cordura and that stuff is pretty much stab, tear, and scratch resistant! After a season of regionals and champs, we’ve had bumpers that looked as fresh as when they were made because of that magical material.

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Those locks are sweet. Thanks for the link. :+1: I love how they just slide on. How do you reach in to release them when they’re next to the robot?

We have a low frame and the quick connects rest on top. The superstructure does not go over the locks so we just reach down and push the buttons to unlock them.

(note that there are some bumper supports missing in this picture so we don’t actually have gaps on the side that big)


Thanks so much. This was super helpful. I think we’re going to try rounded corners next so the photo without the cover was helpful too.

Love these, but they’re pricy. Remember that their cost needs to be included in your BOM this year. Bumpers count. Unfortunately.