Inventor beginners project

We need some ideas for projects that new students could draw up in Inventor (3D). Then **not **3D print it, but rather **build **it . The materials would have to be cheap, and able to be used easily. construction would be using the mill so some kind of object that is nice looking. Just throwing ideas off the wall any suggestions welcome. Thanks Nick

What size object are you looking for? What is your mill capable of? Some things that come to mind are:

Boxes/trays for holding screws/small parts/tools/etc
Fairly simple robot parts(like some sort of mounting bracket)
Enclosure for something electronic
Simple flashlights consisting of an LED, a switch, and button cells. The case is what’s designed in Inventor and milled
Maybe even basic tools, like small screwdrivers

If it fits your budget, keyway broaches can be made on a mill. If you have access to a lathe, you can make hex broaches. While not complex from a CAD standpoint, they can be immensely helpful during the build season.

One project we like doing is making a small turners cube (like the one below) and on the center cube making a die. It’s cool to see made, can be a bit tricky when making the 6 holes because if you go to deep then the center falls out. It’s fairly easy to cad aswell.

Do you have any links on this? Have you made your own broaches? This sounds interesting.

Haven’t made one myself, but I used a keyway broach somebody made in our shop the other day. They basically ground the shape on a blank of tool steel, hardened it with a torch and oil quenching, then sharpened it with a grindstone.

This video shows a square broach being made on a lathe, and it looks like it could easily be done with steel hex shaft. This is the method I think might be most suitable for FRC teams, and I’d be really excited if someone with access to a lathe could try it out and see how it goes (hint hint, nudge nudge).

This video shows a keyway broach being made on a mill. Seems pretty quick and easy if you can get the materials. Not sure if it’s as high a quality though.

This one shows a hex broach being made out of a round piece of high speed steel with a surface grinder. I’m not as big a fan of this one. It requires a spin indexer and a surface grinder to turn the round high speed steel into hex. Also, the end design only has two steps, so two cutting surfaces are removing all the material. It obviously worked for the purpose it was intended for, but I think that it wouldn’t hold up well for FRC purposes.