Most seasons, our team has made CAD a 6-week long project. Meaning, as the robot is being built, we’re still making modifications to ALL of our CAD. However, we have stopped this and turned design + manufacturing into mechanical. As of late, we have 1 unfinished drivetrain, one functional drivetrain with working, wooden prototypes, and an almost FULLY COMPLETED robot. Are we going really fast?
Keep in mind that the complete robot only has fleshed out metal/PC prototypes.
Is this speed normal for some teams? I’m interested to hear.
Due to our historical lack of reliable machining sponsors, our team usually aims to have CAD “frozen” by week 3.5 to allow for fabrication time, but this year we’ve blown past that deadline, but this year I believe that we are finding a lot of potential problems ahead of time, and will result in a better final product. In addition to that we’ve managed to get a machining sponsor to do a few big parts so we should be able to make for that lost fab time in machined sheet-metal parts.
Overall, it’s better to have a slightly later but high quality robot than an early and inconsistent one (cough cough us last year), but if you can get the best of both worlds, you can give your programmers more time to perfect the system, and that is unspeakably valuable, but programmers can only do so much with a heavily flawed system.
Really fast? That’s almost Ludacris Speed!
But for real, congrats! Getting your CAD done early is a fantastic growth step! The extra practice time is gonna show at your events. I’d love to hear back from you post season about how finishing early benefited y’all specifically.
Everyone goes at their own pace, some people finish at their event, some people finish week 1. What’s important is that you improve upon your own record, which you have. Can’t wait to see what y’all do!
If you have to ask if you are going to fast. it sounds like your pace is just right! Keep prototyping and making improvements. Team 148 has a fairly well documented process on how they do this.
I believe our design has gone quicker this year as well. I think it has to do with how similar robots will be this year compared to last year. Elevators and intakes are going to be quite similar I believe (for cargo at least).
Typically, we do our CAD in stages with the end being sometime around the end of week 3. We have the drivetrain CADed by the end of week 1, the primary mechanism (arm/intake/shooter/etc) done by the end of week 1.5/2, and the secondary mechanism (end game) done by week 2.5/3.
Then, as each CAD file is finished, the manufacturing starts. Usually, we want the drivetrain built and wired by week 2.5, which is about what happened this year. As that happens, we iron out issues in the CAD model, so we can finish the prototyped designs in CAD during their respective deadline.
We seem to be roughly on this pace this year, so good on your team for being faster than your normal schedule! Hope this helps!
Totally agree with @Landonh12 that most of the manipulator tasks this year look a lot like last year. On the other hand, the scoring is significantly different. There is another game piece which can not be handled similarly to a powercube, and which must be scored before the cargo which is similar to the power cube.
The climb is not really like last year - last year, you could get one climb through the vault, and needed two more climbs for an RP. This year, one robot on the L3 ramp and one on the L1 ramp is sufficient - and it is expected than essentially any robot can get on the L1 ramp. This means that any team which either creates a workable L3 solo climb, or which parks itself on the L1 platform and becomes a ramp for an alliance partner to drive up to L3 is going to receive that bonus RP most qual matches.
The other thing which is VERY MUCH NOT LIKE LAST YEAR is the scoring basis. Last year, scoring was time-based as the match progressed, this year it is almost entirely scored as things are at the end of the match. Last year, a slight edge in speed could result in a blowout score; this year, it will matter quite a bit less, and will be more susceptible to being overcome by endgame points.