FIRST Book - version 3.0

Though the details have yet to be fully developed, Stephanie Slezycki and I are working on a preliminary plan for a 2014 version of our previous “Behind the Design” books that profiled the design, fabrication, coding, and testing aspects of FIRST robotics.

The tentative plan is to blend the technical perspective in the prior books with vignettes of FIRST’s impact on individuals and communities.

Similar to the prior books, potential content would be solicited from FIRST teams based on the 2014 season.

More to follow on the details as the plan is confirmed. In the meantime, snapping a few high quality photos of your team’s design efforts might be prudent for teams that would like to submit images for the book.

I know this message is cryptic in its details, but I wanted to get the word out on the possibility of this project.

Happy build season - Vince Wilczynski

The previous two books are some of the coolest things ever done in FIRST.

Our team appeared in the 2007 book, and it was great to be able to buy a copy for each of that year’s students.

In addition, we still ask our design students to reference these books for inspiration!

It is GREAT news that you and Stephanie doing another. I’m excited to hear more details.

Take Care,

To follow along with JVN’s comments, the 2006 & 2007 books are references I literally keep within 1 foot of me at work and always kept a copy in the shop. FRC 33 made it into both books. We were fortuante to have a lot of good material we could put at the book.

Some tips:
Take high quality pictures of prototypes, plans, white-boards, and keep your hand sketches (they look really nice next to CAD models and then real robot pics).
Take pictures of sub-assemblies with “clean” backgrounds. Solid colored background are your friend.
Keep a build journal, or engineering notebook.
I personally like seeing the before/after the addition of sponsors logos and graphics.

Glad to here the book is coming back.

This is great news.

The two books are an awesome resource for teams.

Agreed, my copies are always in my team’s shop and I try to get all the new students to browse through them. The first question I get is where are 2008-201X. Glad to see this is coming back.

Weren’t you guys working on one for 2013 at champs? What happened to that?

Thanks for the words on the prior books!

We were working on this project last year at Championships based on the 2013 game and met with a few publishers over the summer. The timing wasn’t working out to collect info after the fact so we are trying again to do so in real time.

Cheers - Vince

Great news! Please let us know if you make the sign up list for interviews again!

So it will be a cross between the previous BtD books (which were fantastic thank you for making them) and the other FIRST book which was mostly anticdoteal stories from FIRSTers?

Sounds cool. Thanks again for taking the time to put this all together.

Plans are progressing for the creation of a 2014 FIRST Design book. While still preliminary, I wanted to share the news that progress is being made on this project such that teams that desire to be profiled can begin to collect images of the design process. More explicit details on the book and the associated team submission process will be shared as they develop, but this note provides a starting point for teams to begin archiving information for possible publication submission.

It is proposed that 30 teams be profiled in the 2014 book (in a manner similar to the previous books). While the previous book centered on FIRST award winners (in the design categories), this year’s book is projected to profile 5 teams in each of the following categories:

  1. Computer aided design, simulation and analysis
  2. Innovative design using traditional manufacturing methods
  3. 3-D printing applications
  4. CNC controlled machining (mills and lathes)
  5. CNC cutting systems (water jet, laser cutters, plasma cutters, …)
  6. Sensors, monitoring and control applications

In addition, the chapters will be separated by vignettes that show the impact of FIRST on its members and supporters.

At this point, teams are urged to collect images of their design, fabrication and testing process, as well as notes on their work. The images (which can include hand sketches, CAD models, machining processes, fabricated parts, installed assemblies and the completed robot) should be taken mindful of their publication use. For example, a part should be photographed against a white background. The same part, ideally in the same orientation, could be photographed while being machined and portrayed as a CAD drawing. Finally, the part as installed on the robot can be photographed while mindful of focusing on the part and avoiding background clutter. Some examples of high quality images that would work well in the book are presented for reference.

Teams want to collect clear, high quality images (and the associated text record of their work) to tell a story of their design. One example of an overall design-story was created as a video three years ago. Thesection of this video that details the design of Team 111’s arm was created from content (text and images) submitted for the 2007 FIRST Robots Rack and Roll book.

Hopefully this update provides insight into the project and identifies the types of materials that teams can be thinking about collecting. More will follow as the publication plans firm up over the next two weeks.

I think it’s a great idea. I can’t wait to see what you put together. I do have a concern, however. Most of the categories are going to be out of the reach for most teams. If you want it to be an engineering book, I think your categories are fine. If you want it to be about FIRST robotics, you might want to rethink then.

Hi Vince. Team 696 is very interested in appearing in the book. We have been taking high-quality photos of our extensive set of CNC machined parts. Please let us know whatever other information you have about what you’re looking for. Thanks.

Hello Vince,

I know you said the plans for a 2014 version of the design book were not finalized, but it has been a couple of months. Are there still any plans for making this book?

Many thanks to the Chief Delphi community with the FIRST Design Book 3.0 project.

As the origin of this post illustrate, the concept had a LONG gestation period.

Lots of team effort from around the world went into the creating version 3.0 of the FIRST design book.

Kudos to the FIRST organization for making the ideas a reality.

We hope all enjoy reading it (even if only briefly today as there are other new FIRST items of interest to read as well).

Thanks again to all who helped guide and produce this version of the book.

Hold Strong - Vince & Stephanie

The book is available at

Phenomenal! An order for a dozen went in about an hour ago. I look at the time and effort that must have gone into producing this book over the past few months, and it makes me feel like my own work is insufficient. Vince and Stephanie, you guys really blew it out of the water again! What a beautiful book, and what a fantastic gift for FIRST to include in the kit of parts! Thank you for immortalizing our 2015 robot “Centurion” in this book, and allowing students for many years into the future to read about what our team accomplished in 2015. This is something I will treasure forever, thank you again.

Vince & Stephanie,

The book is remarkable. I perused through most of it, the detail and high quality pictures make this book great. We are working on a group order as it appears it saves on shipping costs.

I echo the comments on it being included in the kit of parts. That was a wonderful surprise for us. I am certain we will refer to this book often just like we do the earlier two.

Thank You for producing the book and including our submission. Our students were very excited to see our 2015 robot made the cut.

Vince and Steph, this book came out amazing! I was going through our team’s copy, and the level of detail and presentation was outstanding. It is a true masterpiece that everyone in FIRST should have in their library. I’m looking forward to getting my own copy to really dive in with soon.

Thank you for all your hard work on this!

It’s so great to read all the positive posts. Thank you so much for your kind words!