New Cad site?

Just a thought. Would anyone be willing to start a new CAD site like FIRST CAD library? FCL is a great site, but it hasn’t been updated recently (I don’t know the reason, but I’m sure there is a good one for this). I know that it would be real great to have a site for all the new parts. I have been giving out my model fo the new breaker panel and know it would have been better to have it hosted somewere like FCL. Does anyone have the time/will/equipment to host a site like this? Or, if Ed Sparks (the guy who runs FCL for those who don’t know) is out there, would you be willing to update/hand over the site so it could be kept current? Just a thought.

I think that would be an awsome idea. We didnt get to finish our robot on Inverntor but it would be kool to do it after Nationals.

I think the FCL was a great site and it would be awsome if it was updated.

I agree … is a fantastic resource. I would not want to see anyone minimize Ed’s efforts. It’s got to be a ton of work for one person to maintain a site like that. I’m not sure if Ed has any specific quality or procedural standards that he would want to maintain, but I am sure he would entertain an offer of help. He my even be able to work out a system where you get some acknowledgement for the parts that you model/contribute.

I really do not have the means to make a site like this, but I do have a great suggestion!

Instead of having a webmaster maintain a site like firstcadlibrary, have a site where anyone can just go on and upload their CAD parts similar to

At the same time when they upload the file also have them include a description, a picture of the CAD file, multiple file types of the CAD drawing (if the up-loader is able too), and also allow them to choose the category the file should be uploaded to.

I would gladly help organize what the page should include and give some of my suggestions!

This is because according to Al on the FCL website, he wants to make sire that the quality is good and that you can use the measurements to plan your bot or to cut metal, etc.

I will be willing to donate webspace. I can help setup the frontend but i need people todo it since i dont have much time. PM me or email me at dodeja at

Posted By: team222badbrad

I really do not have the means to make a site like this, but I do have a great suggestion!

Instead of having a webmaster maintain a site like firstcadlibrary, have a site where anyone can just go on and upload their CAD parts similar to

At the same time when they upload the file also have them include a description, a picture of the CAD file, multiple file types of the CAD drawing (if the up-loader is able too), and also allow them to choose the category the file should be uploaded to.

I would gladly help organize what the page should include and give some of my suggestions!

I like your idea but the only problem that I see is whoever makes up the part might not have the dimensions exactly right which would do no good to anyone. There would have to be someone checking everyones drawing to make sure that they are accurate and to scale.

id be willing to host your site. if you buy a domain name i can put it on one of my severs. i have tons of space available and would not be a problem. if you don’t want to buy a domain then id gladly host it on a domain i already own.

pm me or email me at [email protected]


I threw this out there becuase I saw a growing need to update/replace FCL. I don’t really have the time to run it, but I think I could do some of the Inventor Modeling.

Reguarding Think that the site would need to be controlled somehow. I don’t think it is a job for one person, but someone needs to review models and double check them and havee them in the right format for consistancy’s sake.

Activemx: Do you have a server/domain yourself or do you own a domain on another’s server or are you saying you are willing to buy a server/domain for this?

Babyhueyhnx: I know it is possible to get a domain name for about 5-10 bucks a year. Would your server be able to handle the files and the traffic that this may generate?

Ed Sparks: I would love to hear your input on this. Or if you need more help to maintain FCL, then we can keep FCL and don’t have to worry about domain and webspace.

On a side note, I am supprised on how many people already responded. I wan’t expecting such support. Thanks.

i currently have control over 2 servers. as to how much space would be required I’m not quite sure. maybe you could give me a ballpark idea. from there i could better ■■■■■ this situation.

ive been looking into getting a bigger server with 20 GB of storage. not sure if it will materialize yet.


Inventor models are about 1-2 MB each. FCL has hundreds of models. We could estimate about 100-200MB for just inventor models are on FCL. Most have AutoCAD files (.5-1MB i think) so that is 50-100MB. Most have STEP and STL which is another 1-2MB each (+200-400MB). That brings FCL up to 350-700MB range (conservitiave estimate). I have a feeling that we will end up having many more models (so 10 times more is about 7 GB). Is that doable? There is also space needed for the site stuff (html ect) so i wouldn’t want much less than 10GB (but that’s just me :])

Hard drives are cheep. Look in you newspaper ads and wait for someone to have a rebate on hardrives. I got my 80GB hard drive for 40. I saw some 40GB ones for 20. get one at about .50 a gig. You don’t need a new server, just more hardrives. Most servers have that I have seen (and most other computer) have support for many hard drives. just add another one in there for the models.

A great inventor resource is use is It has tons of files you can download and change with the excel document attached to the files. It doesn’t have any of the FIRST items we want, but it still is a great resource i really suggest you use it. Saves tons of time.

Charles Bliss’s site is a great resource for common Inventor parts. What I believe the originators of this thread have in mind is one which is dedicated to FIRST-specific Inventor parts. Examples would include IFI control components and drive systems, van door motors, etc.

When he has had time, Ed Sparks has maintained a site for this purpose. I believe that Ed personally made sure of the accuracy and compatibility of the parts he posted, which is a sizeable undertaking. Also, if memory serves, Ed only posted Inventor v5 parts, to be certain that all FIRST teams would be able to use them. That would preclude the use of many team-designed parts, as a lot of us are using more recent Inventor releases, and I am unaware of any utility which would back-convert these to previous versions.

Yes, that site has some great parts, but the VKoP that FIRST puts out lacks and I don’t care to have to make all the FIRST special parts every time. I have used some the that sites parts, but my first resource for parts is (or was) FCL.

Reguarding a new site, if we don’t have to make a new site (aka use FCL) than that would be best becuase people already know about it. If we have to make a new site, it would be great to retain a) FCL’s domain and b) FCL’s models. That way it would a) be remaking FCL and making it better and b) we don’t have to model everything all over again or download the whole FCL one at a time and keep it all together.

New idea: FIRST gives teams the next to latest Inventor and CAD. But not all teams can run it (bad computers). Maybe, if we do this, we could have multiple versions of the models (I4, I8, CAD r14, CAD 2002, CAD 2004, ect) and have people select what one they want, like from a dropdown menu.

If you need to contact me for some strange reason, email at jdiwnab at gmail dot com

i am going to make an account at i am also going to get buy (FRC CAD Vault).

the next step will be ideas for the design and upload system.

(Special thanks to for donating their services to all FIRST teams and related sites.)

I don’t know if that is quite enough space or not. We can see. If it isn’t, is there a way to augment the storage. Some with a server could have the models on their computer and have the sevaa site have the graphical part. That part could access the server (doesn’t need a domain name, just IP adress) and pull the models off. Sevaa could also act as a place to upload models to (so they could be latter added to the list) and download from (to review them). That is if we need more space. Oh, and did you mean or did the “o” mean something that I didn’t grasp?

yea, i did mean also i talked to the owner of sevaa. we will have ample space for this project. I have also asked the folks at if they would donate a copy of there sharing program which is designed for sharing cad and other designs, similar to what we are trying to accomplish. you can check out there demo here. MSRP is $500 so hopefully they will, but at the same time its good to have a backup plan.

As a back up plan for uploading a file to be reviewed/posted, it might be possible to have a file upload system like here on CD. We might want a simple login system to do so because we don’t want people (random people who find the site, not necessarly FIRST people) to upload stupid stuff. The files could be accessed by someone who can manage the site and review the files (accuracy, repetition, stupidity, ect) and they could then post them in the proper format and in the right place.

Or we could just set up a gmail account for people to email their files to…

Hi all,

I like to let everyone know that I’ve not given up on the FirstCADLibrary even though it seems so since I haven’t posted any parts in a while. It’s just been one of those years where I’m hyper-swamped with other issues. I currently write software for the '06 Dodge Ram Truck 4WD systems and I’ve been busy traveling to support that effort. We (Team 34) lost half of our technical mentors this year so I’ve doubled my efforts there.

The bottom line is that I have the interest and will have time to add to the library after the championship. I know that for many of you, it’s too late for this years efforts and for that I apologize.

I’d like to find a way to get the “ultimate” library in place. Here are some of the issues that I’ve struggled with (many have already been mentioned):

Accuracy - Every model needs to be verified. Some may actually use the model to cut parts and it would be expensive and uncool if the model were off. Some governing body needs to be responsible for this.

Version - I choose to use an oldie but goodie (Inventor V5) because Autodesk handed out a bunch of copies some years ago. In fact, It’s the only copy I officially own. If the library is built on various recent versions of Inventor, many designers using older copies will be excluded. I suppose they could use an ACIS or SAT translation of the model but since Inventor files are upward compatible I think using an early version is the better thing to do.

Multiple Formats - This is mandatory to keep my ProE, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, etc … friends happy.

Virus Control - I’m so haunted by this. The very idea that someone could accidentally (or otherwise) upload an infected file that spreads throughout the FIRST community makes me loose sleep. The service provider must also share some responsibility for hacker protection and virus control. Those who are offering hosting need to sign up to this.

I’ll work on the library soon and I’ll support any other effort as much as possible. I’ve always believed that the only chance that most of the teams have to actually use Inventor to design a robot is to have a library of common parts available, otherwise, too much time is spent drawing parts instead of modeling ideas. This is my motivation for the FirstCadLibrary.

I understand, I can get very busy, too. I can’t decide which would be better: to help Ed out and try to keep FCL going strong, or to support Ed but do our own site. FCL is great, but Ed needs help. And maybe, two sites are better than one.

The quaility and accuracy of the models must be very high. I wouldn’t want a part that wasn’t the right size, shape, dimentions, ect. Someone or some group of someones should review all models for accuracy. The best way would be to compare it to the real thing. If it matches, it’s good. If not, fix it.

The mutiple versions would be so that people with Inventor 1 might (if someone has Inventor 1 to port it to) download it and someone with <latest version of Inventor that FIRST gives us> could get that version, too. I would want to have it in as many formats as possible. That way someone could have all the features that their version supports. We also need to have all the other CAD formats (STEP, IGES, DXF, DWG, ect) for everyone that doesn’t have Inventor.

I hadn’t though of viruses, but, yes, that needs to be controlled. Part of the upload-and-check of files might be to scan it for viruses

If you have an opinion on the New site v. Old site debate (that I am starting right now) please tell me.

Ed, if you need help, you can always ask. I’m sure that someone out here will be more than willing to help.