Free Parts Suggestions

Can any veteran teams give us suggestions on what parts to use our vouchers for? I know the answer may be “it depends” but what have you found to be useful overtime that we can get with our vouchers included in the kit of parts?

Here are some of the things we get with our vouchers:

Inventables: Raw materials (especially plastics like Delrin and HDPE), and router bits (we have a CNC router). We also got a heat gun from them last season, because we needed one.

Digikey: CUI encoders and accessories for those encoders (primarily what we have been using for the past couple seasons). We also have bought some electrical ends, and some wire from Digikey in the past.

Automation direct: Usually go for pneumatics components. They have solenoids, and lot of fittings.

This year our Digi-Key voucher bought us 2 of the AMT103-V encoders. Last year it got us an ADI ADXRS-450 gyro.

Digikey - AMT103-V encoders & wire harnesses, sensors, tools
Automation Direct - safety glasses, tools
Inventables - deburring tool, router bits, material (aluminum, polycarbonate, etc)
RoboPromo - If you’re a rookie team, definitely get the free bumper material.
TE Connectivity - we got the ring terminals and wire to wire connectors
Vulcan - Constant force springs
Bimba and Clippard - actuators and tanks, if you use pneumatics

Take a look at the software, too. Multiple CAD options are available AND Mastercam.

Inventables: Ferrules (REALLY IMPORTANT) and crimper
TE: Heat shrink
DigiKey: Wire and battery crimp connectors

Solid answers here. We went for big constant-force springs using the Vulcan PDV (they were less than a week to our door, awesome!), and we’re also using the Anchor Labs PDV on some frame components since we weren’t satisfied with the in-house v1.

Bimba’s shipping times are a little iffy from year to year, so I tend to order them on spec for future prototyping. Something with a 3/4" bore and a few inches of stroke should give you a nice thing to play with. (When I know I need them this year, I order from Automation Direct.)

Shameless plug for Automation Direct:

We have a list of the Automation Direct products that are most popular with FRC teams (with links) at the bottom of our voucher instructions page here:

Good luck with POWER UP!


Anybody else seeing Inventibles adding shipping, even though order is over $100?

How do I apply the Inventables voucher code?

It is charging me shipping as well it seems

The lead mentor 1 or 2 needs to log into their teams dashboard at From the dashboard under the team options column, clock on the payment & product drop down and select password/voucher codes. That will bring you to the list of all the available voucher codes for the season. The codes are only available to teams that have paid their registration fees.

I have the code. I don’t know how to tell Inventables I have a code.
How/where is the code applied?
I forget what I did last year.

I found the Apply Gift Code button, thanks. It didn’t seem to be on the path I originally took through payment. It was there when I left and returned.
I paid for shipping as well. I suppose it’s $100 after the gift certificate is applied before it’s free shipping.

Thank you! Thank you! For supporting FIRST and for the list!

In addition to the list above I think pneumatic manifolds sold by Automation Direct make putting the whole pneumatic system together much easier and less prone to leaks, We connect all the high pressure side items (pressure switch, pressure sensor, gauge, relief valve, safety relief valve etc) into ports on the manifold making the whole system simpler.

Forgot the link:

Our team recently ordered at Inventables using the coupon. I had to send the order number to the contact email (help at inventables dot com) explaining that we were a FRC team and they manually refunded the cost back to my card.

Where do you put in the Digikey voucher code on the Digikey website ?

Inventables: We went for the ferrule kits because we needed them this year.
Digikey: Enclosures for sonic sensors, arduino relays, pixy cam, etc.
Automation Direct: Beam break sensors and IR prox sensors for robot automation.
TE: I actually got so upset with the website design and layout that I gave up. I spent an hour trying to figure out what was for sale and what wasn’t, and when I got to the heat-shrink page I finally closed it in disgust when I saw they couldn’t be bothered to just describe what size wire it would work with and gave measurements in tenths of millimeters. Some of their terminology was also frustrating.
Bimba - Cylinders. We just keep increasing our inventory of common cylinders. Their shipping can be absolutely horrid (we’ve had stuff show up after bag day that we ordered at the start of season).
Clippard - tanks.
Vulcan - spring for lost motion in one of our mechanisms…