Most Commonly Used Aluminum Extrusion Profiles

Hi all,

I have a question to throw out to the CD community. I know what aluminum extrusion profiles that our team has found that we like to use, but I’m curious what’s most commonly used by other teams. What are the top five aluminum extrusion profiles that your team most commonly uses in building your robots (standard profiles excluding T-slotted)? Typical profiles include: angle, rectangular tubing, flat, c-channel, round tubing, etc. And what size?

For example, if I were to answer for team 1025, I would say:

  1. Rectangular tubing 1" X 1" X 1/16"
  2. Angle 1" X 1" X 1/8"
  3. Rectangular tubing 2" X 1" X 1/16"
  4. Flat 4" X 1/8"
  5. C-channel 2" X 1" X 1/8"

Also, if this is any different than the first answer, what profiles would you recommend that an average rookie team stock up on before the season begins (again, nothing exotic or T-slotted)? Please don’t answer with, “It depends on their manufacturing capabilities” or “Wait until the game is released.” All you know is that it’s an “average” rookie team that wants to stock up before the season.

My team definitely has favorites. Here they are.

  1. 80-20 of several shapes and sizes. Usually 1x1, but this year we had some 2x4 as well.

  2. C-Channel for the base. 4 years in a row.

  3. 1.25x1.25 square tubing with 1/8 walls.

  4. 2.5" angle. Used in most brackets.

  5. 1" angle, used relatively frequently when the 2.5" is not required.

Last year, we used 1x1x.125 square tubing, 1x2x.125 rectangle tubing 1x1x.125 angle. Previously, we’ve used small amounts of 1x1 80-20, but it’s SO heavy. Is it just me or is, 1x2x.0625 6061-T6 hard to find? I’ve looked for it in several places, but it seems to be rather uncommon.

Adding to everything posted so far, 2x1x0.1 rectangular tube (versachassis), 1x1x0.0625 angle, and 0.5x0.5x0.125 angle are great.

There’s lots listed in this thread:

We use a lot of 1x1 Angle in both 1/16 and 1/8 depending on the application

We also used last year some 3x5 box for a gearbox, 1/8th thick. We also use 1in flat and 4in flat for a lot of applications,We use 1x1 1/8th thickness for drive bases and structure, along side 1x2. We don’t use tubing that much, but we did use it for supports this year


  1. 80/20 I know you said no t-slots but it is so useful especially for rookie teams & prototyping. You can get a deep discount if you tell your distributor you are a First team when you order it.
  2. The Andymark C channel. reference holes are nice
    3)The VEX 2x4x.1 rect. tube reference holes & lines are nice.
    4)1x1x.125 angle. easier to properly torque nuts than in tube.
    5)1x1x.125 square tube. About the same weight as 1" 80/20. Slightly stiffer.
  3. 1/2 hex. Great for shafting

Actually, contrary to popular belief a section of 1x1 80-20 is slightly LIGHTER than the same legenth of 1x1x.125 square tubing. If you really want to save weight use thinner wall square tube.

The order changes from year to year but usually looks something like this:

  1. 1"*1"*1/8"
    4)1.25"*1.5" T bar
    5)2"*2" 1/8 angle
    1/8" pipe
    1/8" pipe
    9)1/8" sheet

The weight from 80/20 isn’t in the extrusion. It’s in all the bracketry and fasteners.

Here’s something people haven’t yet mentioned in this thread. I love to design worm gearboxes based on big, 1/4" thick box extrusion and then pocket the heck out of it to save weight. They’re really, really strong, and although they can be hard to assemble, they’re really versatile units.

For example, this year we used about this much stock for creating worm gearboxes:

  • 5 ft 4" x 2" x 1/4" tubing
  • 3 ft 3" x 2" x 1/4" tubing

On the other hand, I doubt a rookie team would use tubing like this unless they had a CNC mill and were pretty confident in their ability to design gearboxes.

My general advice for a rookie team would be to just stock up on 1x1x1/16 and 2x1x1/16 6061 tubing. We probably used 40 ft of the 2x1 this year and 20 ft of the 1x1. You can build almost any frame you want with those two extrusions, 1/8" alu plate for gussets, and 3/16" rivets.

Rectangular tubing 6061 1" X 1" X 1/16"
Rectangular tubing 6061 1" X 1" X 1/8"
Flat 6061 1/4" and 1/8"

Our main profiles are:

  1. 2" x 1" x 0.130" u-channel (Al 6061)
  2. 1" x 0.125" square tube (Al 6061)
  3. 1" x 1" x 0.125" u-channel
  4. 1010 80/20 profile

Items 1-3 mostly are used in welded assemblies.

Here’s my best guess for the past year:

For 449:

  1. 1’‘x1’‘x.125’’ Angle
  2. 2’‘x1’‘x.125’’ Tube
  3. 1’‘x1’’ 80/20
  4. 1’‘x1’‘x.0625’’ Tube

For 4464:

  1. 1.5’‘x1.5’‘x.0625’’ Tube (I had never used this particular extrusion before last year, and I absolutely love it now)
  2. 1’‘x1’‘x.0625’’ Tube
  3. 1’‘x1’‘x.125’’ Angle
  4. 2’‘x1’‘x.125’’ C-Channel
  5. Churro Tube (best AndyMark product ever)

In my past experiance with BERT 133, and what I know they used last year besides KoP extrusions:

  1. L1x1x.125
  2. L1x.75x.125
  3. 1x1x.0625 TUBE
  4. 1x1 80/20 TUBE
  5. .25" ALUM PLATE

And of course larger alum plate thickness’ machined as required for brackets, mounts, etc:

Out of curiosity, what on earth would you need to make out of .625’’ aluminum sheet? That’s rather overkill for FRC, I’d think. I seldom use anything above .25’'.