With the 2020 FRC season just around the corner, I hope that this post can help some teams out when it comes to design and CAD!
Recently, I’ve started to learn how to utilize Inventor and its iLogic capabilities - it is truly incredible how much you can do with it.
In an attempt to mitigate the annoyances of creating repetitive parts or assemblies multiple times over, I’ve created a couple of “generators” that does some of the irritating work for you!
Note: I created these with my team’s standards and tendencies in mind. If you want to change anything about them, feel free! Also feel free to let me know how I can improve upon them and what I can add in the future.
Note 2: I know @pchild has also been working on some things like these, so go check his out when he posts them!
The first thing that came to my mind when I thought “repetitive design within FRC” were hex axles. Since they’re used so often and are often dimensionally different, it can be tiresome creating hundreds of axles from scratch every year. Ordinarily, when you need to make an axle for an assembly, you would need to make a new part, draw the hex, extrude it, add all of the features - all of that boring and time consuming stuff.
To use this generator in an assembly, you simply press the N key (create component feature), select Axle Generator under Template, name it and select the save location, and then press ok. Click anywhere in the assembly and there you go! The axle appears and so does the UI. Here you simply just enter the values and it updates in real time. I think this is pretty cool and will seriously, seriously cut down on time spent on assemblies and designs.
If you have any suggestions of features to add, let me know and I’ll try to get it updated!
I’ve also created things very similar for all of the things that I could think of that are repeatable parts in FRC - things like spacers, standoffs, and one of my more ambitious ones: a whole drivetrain generator (still very much in the works, lol)!
Spacer & Standoff Generator
This works in the same exact way as the above axle generator, just for hex/round ID spacers and round OD standoffs.
How To Use The Generators & How To use iLogic
On my personal documentation site, I have a step by step guide that shows how to setup and use these generators, as well as some general iLogic overview. Be sure to leave suggestions on what I should add to this site as well!
Setting up the generators: https://jack.tervay.com/CAD/iLogicGeneratorSetup.html
iLogic overview: https://jack.tervay.com/CAD/iLogicGeneratorHowTo.html
2791’s New & Improved “CAD Library” (Common Parts Library)
During the offseason, we took the time to improve upon our common parts library immensely. It was definitely not in the best shape in years prior - we had mirrors of COTS parts, no real naming scheme, and very little parts had correct weight and iProperties. Hopefully the new library will make things a whole lot easier! Hopefully this will help some other teams out as well.
This parts library doesn’t have every part ever, as we have quite good machining capabilities and such. We’re also using Inventor’s Content Center this year, which is why there are little to no bolts, nuts, etc.
We also didn’t think it was totally worth it to add every part ever (ex. pistons & bushings; there are so many!) - so we decided we will just add these things to the library as we go through the season.
Every part has the following iProperties: weight given by vendor, vendor, WEB link, and stock number. Hopefully these translate over for other Inventor users.
We’ve also moved to a part numbering nomenclature pretty similar to that of 254’s.
Our naming spreadsheet can be found here (forced copy): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EF8IVtdjrW7OhfURxTbWZETbwGQ4IfXXV6G49VfPfVw/copy
I figured that while I’m making this thread, I might as well include some gearboxes I’ve worked on lately!
P.S.: I can’t definitively say that either of these would work, as we haven’t built any of them. Also, ignore my mess of a naming scheme - I’m working on it!
If you’re interested in learning how to CAD custom gearboxes, hopefully this guide that I wrote up can help: https://jack.tervay.com/Technical/Gearboxes/Initial-Gearbox-Sketch.html.
2 NEO Gearbox With Cooling (inspired by 33; might not include it in season but we’ll see):
3 NEO Flat Gearbox (in case we decide we want 3 NEO for some reason and it’s a game like 2017):
The generators and the gearboxes can be found here: https://workbench.grabcad.com/workbench/projects/gceY3xjylqlVcRF1mW-aGeLDrs4rd5iI4bceXVvgpc1tYW#/space/gc1KXyMs_R_JwPvSr2vRaB-Iq3AiQmV6ILzFsLHt303_rU
If you have any questions and/or suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out or post here!