Need help finding a company that can refabricate metal.

im from team 2673 from detroit michigan, cass tech

i just needed a company that could refabricate the omni direction wheel i designed my self. a lot of teams liked them but if someone can tell me a company then i can reproduce them for all teams.
i am patenting it and i know they can help all teams, you may have seen them
a lot of teams saw them.
a mentor from team Chief Delfi saw them an i think he liked them.

thank you very much.

I have heard pretty cool things about:

I don’t think they are particularly cheap… but if you can’t find a local fabricator I guess they are ok…

If you dont mind me asking what"s special about your specific wheels?

OMG ‘WHAT’"S GOing ON??>>> StuPI><<<d sticky KEYS111!

oops sorry. got that under control now.


the wheel that i designed
u can change out the rollers which are plastic just in case they break
and it is steel.

a pic will be uploaded shortly
i just want my name to be on the wheel and want recongnition for it.

I strongly urge you to get competent advice before venturing into a business. There are a few threads on the topic here on CD to start. Find someone who is in business, or a business/economics teacher, and talk about some of the things you need to concern yourself with.

Such as patent law and unscrupulous compaines that prey on naive inventors.

Such as state and federal regulations (Taxes, for example. The IRS doesn’t care how old you are, you have to pay taxes)

Such as product liability (but don’t let that scare you away)

Such as inventory carrying costs

Best of luck with all that, could you be the next AndyMark?


If you are thinking of a patent you need to be very careful about something called “disclosure”… essentially the act of making your invention public knowledge. While case law varies, if you have shown your invention to judges and competitors, and used it at a public event (ie a FIRST regional) there is a very good chance that you have disclosed your invention. Posting the design or photos to Chief Delphi could also constitute disclosure.

Some countries will not allow you to patent an invention once it has been disclosed. In Canada and the United States, and other countries you may be eligible to patent for up to one year after disclosure, but for specifics you will need legal advice.

Which brings up, perhaps, the most important point… if, indeed, you have a patentable invention, you should probably have a business plan in place before pursuing a patent. While, technically, you can write your own patent and file the application yourself, you might want to ask what the chances of your patent standing up to a legal challenge (or even getting past a patent examiner) are likely to be. If there is no business case for your patent, and no profit potential from it, and you are just getting a patent for the excitement of getting a patent… well, give it a try, but it can be an expensive way to stroke your ego. If there is a business case for the patent (think in terms of tens of thousands of dollars in revenues…) then you probably want to make sure you have a defensible patent. This means that you probably don’t want to write it yourself.

It sounds, however, like you are more concerned with having your design associated with your name, rather than pursuing this as a commerical enterprise. That is to be commended. If, however, you are pursuing this as a commercial endeavour, you probably need legal assistance now, as there is a very good chance you have already disclosed your invention and the “clock is ticking” until your opportunity to patent evaporates.

For American Patents you may be interested in and for Canadian Patents Note that while the filing fees listed are not outrageous, patent search fees and legal advice can add up fast.

Also keep in mind that when you patent in the USA… your invention is ONLY protected in the USA. Canadians… and the rest of the world… can produce it freely unless you patent in each country. (The translation fees for patenting in Japan and other non-English speaking countries can be exhorbitant!)

Patents are meant to encourage innovation… and I’m not posting this to discourage your innovation, but perhaps in the hopes that should you have a truly patentable and profitable invention that you consider seeking professional legal and business advice sooner, rather than later.


Wouldn’t you want to patent it before it is shown off? Just a question.

well, we needed these wheels for our robot.
and i just want recongnition and my name on it.

I can see where you are coming from.

After such long hours of work you must be proud of what you did, and if someone else uses it, it is only fair that they recognize the designer.

I suggest that you publish the design under the Creative Commons license.

You can make sure no one can profit from it, they have to recognize you when using it and you can control whether they are allowed to modify it or not.

Start here:


A patent is a bad idea in my opinion. Unless you made a breakthrough innovation and you are afraid someone is going to steal your idea.
The CC license is ideal for your situation in my opinion.

I was going to post about the legal and practical issues—but then Don and Jason covered them. So instead, I recommend that you follow their advice.

One thing, though: patent reciprocity exists through treaties. So with the proper paperwork, a patent granted in one country can be recognized elsewhere, retroactive to the date that the first patent was granted.

The CC licence covers creative representations of the design, such as the illustrations, drawings or the description. But it doesn’t limit anyone’s ability to read the design and produce parts using it, or sell those parts. (Basically, it’s useless for protecting engineering information.)

A patent is what you’re looking for, but it’s unlikely to be practical to try to get one, in this situation.

Tristan, are you sure?
what you say sounds perfectly reasonable… but if he chooses a non-commercial license for a technical drawing and they use that drawing to create something…

Oh I see. the drawing itself is protected but not the concept that the drawing depicts! :ahh:

but they used that drawing in a commercial way! the omni-wheel may be considered to be a derivative work of the initial drawing! (?)

this license may apply: (human readable format!)



p.s. I hate when things get all lawyered up.

In the sense of a CC licence, “derivative work” means taking a CC-protected creative work and using parts of it in some other creative work—like using a CC-protected photo in a collage.

It doesn’t apply to interpreting the information, and building something based upon it—like using a photograph of a bird as the basis for your own statue. (There are some cases where this isn’t quite true, like when you’re copying artistic details, but that’s highly subjective, and has to be decided in court.)

i need this so i can pay for college
im hoping to get into college

It can cost up to $10,000 to get a patent when you factor in patent lawyer fees and other related costs.

And if you are looking to use this to get into college, just use this invention when you apply for all kinds of scholarships, especially any of the ones for science/technology available through FIRST.

I won a $4k one-time scholarship for innovation and creativity when I wrote the essay about how I went about designing and programming my Vex holonomic drive robot (which at the time was one of the first holonomic drive Vex robots). And a lot of my work with robotics was most likely a contributing factor in other scholarships I’ve won.

It’s a lot “safer” of an investment to spend hours and hours filling out all those scholarship essays that it would be to patent an omni-wheel design. Especially if the patent doesn’t work out, such as if it is too much like existing patented or public domain designs. (Not that I’m discouraging you from patenting it if you believe you are on to something).

Remember that patents don’t make money… they cost money.

It is the business based on that patent, or the licensing revenue generated by that patent that makes money.

If you don’t have a business plan, or have a manufacturer wanting to license and market your product, then you don’t have a revenue stream.

University researchers are placed in a similar situation when they make a discovery… if there is a business case then they can pursue profit through patenting… but if there is not a solid business case for their discovery/invention then they publish their design, share it with the community, and receive recognition for their contribution to advancing the state of the art.

I think you got some very, very good advice above when it was suggested that you use this as part of the basis for scholarship applications… unless you can reasonably foresee sales of your design generating revenue in the tens of thousands of dollars, a patent is likely to cost you more than it will earn you.


i will take that into account thanks

Andy Mark is interesed in buying my design
i am really considering selling it
should i ???

Having dealt with Andy and Mark for several seasons, I can tell you that they are definitely Good People.

That said, I still advise you to read the terms of the offer carefully, consult the appropriate professionals if need be, and judge for yourself.

Your last post beat me to it

I was going to suggest that you try to seel / license your idea to someone who already makes robot parts for FIRST - they would know from experience what will work.

And,as a side note, the US patent process is not only expensive but it is also a slow process - mainly to be sure what you are patenting is really new and novel. My last patent, which was managed by corporate patent attorneys, took well over 12 months from application to actual patent.

i know they are good people
thats why i went to them
thanks though

wat usually happens when u sell ur design???