One of our amazing sponsors has stamping capability and has graciously offered this capability to our team. Does anyone have experience with designing and using this inside of or outside of FRC?
If I understand it correctly, stamping is preferable for high-volume part generation, due to the high initial cost of tooling and setting up dies… I don’t see it being very practical for an FRC application. However, if they have CNC capability, that could be extremely beneficial.
For sheet metal, most teams use something more suited for rapid, low volume production, like water jet, laser cutter, or CNC routers.
I think of stamping as a forming process that is highly application-specific-- you would need to design (perhaps multiple sets of) dies for every part you wish to make. Do you think you might mean punching, not stamping? Many FRC teams have experience with CNC and conventional punching processes. A search for “turret punch” reveals a lot of good insights.
The best thing would be to recruit a mechanical mentor from your sponsor. Show him (her) what you do. Get him to come to competitions to see other robots. Let the mentor suggest how their capabilities can help build your robot. Think of this as a multi year relationship.
A stamping shop goes through a lot sheet metal. Depending on what they stamp they might have a lot of scrap that you can use.
Stamping is really great! I would discuss with your shop and see what dies they use more often and add those into your sheet metal plates, that way they can just run your parts through the rotation. You can have a really strong and light robot if you did this.