FRC3005 RoboChargers Summer Onshape CAD Class

As part of our offseason team building efforts FRC3005 is going to be hosting a 10-week Onshape CAD class (taught by yours truly). This class is intended for students on our team, but we figured it would be a useful resource to share with the community.

The class is based on a class I did a few years ago for my former team (FRC5413) now adapted for Onshape.

The class sessions will be once weekly on Mondays 7pm-9pm CT (8pm-10pm ET). The first session will be May 30th (it’s a holiday, but 10 weeks starts to run into our fall activities if we start a week later).

The class will include lessons on peripheral engineering topics that will be needed to be successful in designing robots during a season. The format of the class session will be:

  • 30min for an engineering topic or discussion about a common type of robot mechanism in FRC.
  • 30min for a highlight of common off-the-shelf components that we buy and use on our robots.
  • 1hr for self-paced hands-on CAD practice. I will pre-record a video that students will follow along with to perform the CAD exercises for that week.

I will be live streaming the first hour of the class on our YouTube channel. I will be working through the CAD practice live with the RoboChargers students, but I’m not going to bother streaming that. Those of you following along will have access to the pre-recorded CAD video and I will answer any questions in this thread.

I’ll post the video and slides in this thread each week.

A few disclaimers:

This class is very focused on our team, so the CAD topics are tailored to our manufacturing resources, preferred suppliers, and design style. We’ll be teaching our methods of modeling, file organization, part numbering, etc. which might not work best for all teams.

2022 was the first season of Onshape for 3005 so we’re still working a few things out.

Any experienced Onshape users, robot designers, or general CAD users feel free to chime in with feedback on the class content or design practices.

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This is great stuff! I was trying to figure out what I can do for our team (6369 in McKinney) … mind if we join you?

If you’re open to having us participate, can you please provide some more details on how we can join in?

My intention for participation outside our team was that I would post a link to the slides, livestream, and pre-recorded CAD video(s) here in this thread each week right before the session starts. Anyone can join in and interact through the youtube live chat (ask questions and such) for the first hour (general engineering topics rather than CAD). After that I’m planning on ending the stream and answering questions about the pre-recorded CAD video(s) here in this thread (I’ll be at my keyboard for prompt responses for the second hour of the class so it’ll be pretty much live).

There are certain parts of the class that will be a bit different for non-robochargers students (e.g. I’m going to walk through the process of adding them to our workspace in the class but obviously won’t invite outside people). Some adaptation to the format would need to be made in order to get your students into your own team’s workspace. I’m just going to be using www.onshape4frc.com as a resource so feel free to work through their “Getting Started” section at any point before the class starts.

If you had in mind a more integrated involvement in the class for your students, we can probably work something out. Just shoot me a DM in that case.

I’m finalizing some stuff for the class this afternoon. I’ll post the topic schedule and pre-requisites here soon.

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Here is the topic list for the class. This is subject to change each week because I’ll adjust it based on how quickly we’re able to progress through the material.

Week Engineering Topics COTS Highlight CAD Topics
1 What is CAD? Fasteners Setting up Onshape. Adding MKCAD and featurescripts. Documents, Tabs, 3D Navigation
2 Manufacturing Methods Raw Materials Documents, Tabs, Sketches (Shapes, Dimensions, Equations), Extrusions (Multiple Parts), Tube Generator
3 Torque & Moments Shafts, Bearings, & Hubs Sketches (Constraints), Extrusions, Revolutions, Work Geometry
4 Gear ratios Gears Hole Feature, Assembly (Grounding, Grouping, Mates)
5 Gearbox Design Motors Layout Sketches (2-stage Gearbox), Importing Components, Gearbox Model
6 Mechanisms: Intakes & Launchers Wheels (Drive & Intake)
7 Pneumatic Circuits (Pressure & Flow) Pneumatics Layout sketches (pneumatic joint), model parts, create assembly, flexible assembly
8 Material Strength Chain & Sprockets
9 Mechanisms: Arms & Elevators Planetary Gearboxes Drawings (views, dimensions, holes, ordinate dimensions)
10 DC Motor Performance Timing Belts & Pulleys Motor & belt-driven roller project. Layout, model, and assemble.

The 2-stage gearbox and pneumatic joint CAD projects will span 2 weeks each.

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Time for week 1. Stream starts at 7pm CT.
YouTube live stream

Here are the materials for the week 1 class session:

Engineering Concepts slide deck

COTS Highlight slide deck

CAD videos:
Part 1
Part 2

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The live session for week 1 is complete. The VOD is here if you missed it or want to go back and review: https://youtu.be/c0fsFaspGyQ

I meant to post a list of prerequisites before the class session started but I forgot. Here are some of the things you need in order to participate:

  • Decent internet connection. Need to have access to most FRC supplier websites as well as McMaster Carr.
  • Computer of some sort (Onshape supports a lot of platforms so even a chromebook is probably good enough for the class). That being said, it needs to have decent graphics support for doing any kind of complicated model (we’ll do a few later in the class).
  • General computer use experience.
  • Mouse with scroll wheel and “middle click” functionality.
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Time for week 2! Stream starts at 7pm CT
YouTube live stream

Here are the materials for the week 2 class session

Engineering Concepts slide deck

COTS Highlight slide deck

CAD video

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Thanks for sharing this Orion. I’m planning on doing some “basics of onshape” training for our kids and might just follow your order of operations here, and throw in some extra training based on your Engineering concepts and COTS highlights as well. Really useful for me!

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I’m thinking about doing a longer and more comprehensive series about manufacturing methods after the CAD class is over. Is that something people would be interested in?

I’d probably just do a video series (no reason to do it live). I’d like to do animations and stuff, but that’s probably more than I can feasibly pull off in the time available.

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As someone who is starting onshape this is very useful. Me and my friend who will be cadding our robot next year are following this and finding it very useful. Thanks for doing this!

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Week 3 is here. Stream starts at 7pm CT
YouTube live stream

Here are the materials for the week 3 class session

Engineering Concepts slide deck

COTS Highlight slide deck

CAD video

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Wow that’s awesome

I think I speak for many people when I say, YES!

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I want to compliment you for this series of videos. These are very helpful and have the correct level of depth to help a beginner as well as a more advanced user.

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Week 4 time! Stream starts at 7pm CT
YouTube live stream

Here are the materials for the week 4 class session:

COTS Highlight slide deck

Engineering Concepts slide deck

I’m going to do the COTS segment first this week to cover general gear information before going into gear ratios.

CAD videos
Part 1
Part 2

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Orion, can you put all the Onshape CAD Class videos into a playlist on the RoboChargers channel, please? That way it’s easier to link people to all of the videos.

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Yeah I definitely will try. I’ve tried to create a playlist each week and I keep getting an error when I try to create one. I’ll keep trying though.

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Great content, thanks for putting this together!

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Still not working. In the meantime here is a playlist I created on my own channel for the videos. I’ll update this playlist and eventually get one on the main channel working.

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Gonna mess around with creating “quizzes” based on your training. I made one for week 1 last night, will attempt to get weeks 2+3 done later this weekend maybe?

If anyone wants to make a copy of the quiz (or finds a mistake), let me know. https://forms.gle/4jxpFRSFDPiLVgcq6

Based on when I give training based on the slides, and listening a little bit to Orion’s videos too I want to re-iterate something; Especially for any rookies, or students learning something new, don’t feel like you have to memorize any of the material or be able to 100% any quiz. The important stuff is that you’re introduced to some concepts and know what to look up in the future. If you want to take the quiz while listening to the training, or looking through the slide - great! If you want to see how much you remember after listening to it a week ago - great!

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