No metal bot

not by number, but by reputation

Glad quite a few have done things in that direction - kinda raises the bar for us.

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Also by number a bit later:

This probably isn’t as related to the topic of this post, but I remember back during the 2006 Detroit regional there was a robot built entirely out of plywood and 2x4s. It wasn’t exactly “no metal” (they had to use screws and such, obviously) but it was as close as I’ve ever seen. :joy:

This was before the KOP chassis as we know it today, and they were a rookie team if I recall correctly. Still, the robot did better than I would have expected for such assembly techniques.

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Some related discussion in this (Composites and FRC) thread.

If my memory serves me 842 did a number of chassis and superstructure designs from pultruded fiberglass back in the 2007 to 2011 timeframe. Side note: that 2011 arm was so cool to watch move.

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It is not difficult or expensive to make a cutting guide for a circular hand saw or a jigsaw. It should not be difficult to find people near you with woodworking experience to show you how to cut wood accurately without CNC equipment.

842 now fast forwarded to the future: I would love to never touch this material again. 2012 was the last year we had any pultruded fiberglass on a robot.

Plywood is an excellent material for a lot of larger low stress shapes. Aluminum works great for higher stress components (anything that holds a bearing, for example). 3d printed plastics work ok for something that will never see any structural load (encoder mounts/electrical things). You will always have metal on your robot for really high stress components like gears and bearings.

I do think that plywood is the most underutilized material in FRC.


Hmmm… I don’t know about this.

I agree that plywood can be used way more than it is. One of the missing pieces of info is there is more than the plywood you get from the lumberyard that can be used. Plywood exist thinner than 1/4" (as thin as 1/64"!)

I find wood more fun to work with too.

You can even make your own plywood.


I feel a stick poking me in the kidneys.

As long as the plywood is inside the frame perimeter… It can even be curved.


Oh boy did I start a round bumper thread again?


You may not like it, but peak performance is only possible from a robot that is entirely made of plywood with zero fasteners. :smirk:


Pray tell Skye, does such an animal exist?

If it doesn’t maybe it should be created - now we need to work on motors and gear boxes made from plywood lol.

Such a beast would be deemed as pure witchcraft at the alter of aluminum and polycarb

Maybe make the motors out of ironwood?

I was going to make some quip about that resulting in a flammable motor, however FRC seems to produce plenty of smoke from motors as it is.

I hear someone did that once… but the robot just wooden go.


I heard of another one that was smoking hot - downright on fire