Organizing an FRC Room

So our FRC team has a ton of great stuff, lots of raw materials, wire, and tons of duplicate stuff. Do any of you have pictures of how you organize your FRC rooms? How do you organize all of your bumper materials, wire, raw materials and everything else in FRC?

How do you do your battery carts? CAD files?

Any help is appreciated!

Thank you so much!

Lots of good questions! I’ll do my best to answer them. My team has a small closet type area for storage, where we have two shelves full of large boxes organized by the type of material in it. We also have cardboard tubes full of different types of metal and PVC. We also have another storage space where we plan on designing a table to hold past robots that we plan on keeping. For the battery cart, we currently have a 4-wheeled wooden cart, but we are currently designing one on two wheels. For the CAD files, they’re usually just shared between flash drives and laptops of CAD team members.

We have a pretty good organization set up this year with all of our stuff. We’ve got all of our “general” use tools in a rolling drawer cabinet. Our fancy snap-on tools go in a bunch of really old vidmar cabinets and in the old (from like the early 80’s) original boxes they came in. Investing in a good set of tools is really worth it.

Then, we’ve got all the FRC related stuff in more drawers, with separate drawers for cylinder, pneumatic fittings, valves, bearings, shafts, threaded rods/lead screws, motors (like 5 drawers of these), belts, pulleys, gears, gearboxes, etc…

All of our hardware goes in these divided boxes. We have 2 boxes for 8-32, 10-24, 10-32, and 1/4-20, and single boxes of the weird sizes like 12’s and 10-36’s and the metric parts. These boxes have divided sections for common lengths, nuts, lock nuts, nylock nuts, washers, and lock washers. The same thing repeats for machine screws, and cap screws.

For file organization, we use our school’s network. We have 2 TB of storage that holds all of our CAD, pictures, software, and other resources for the past 10 years.

This is an interesting topic to me as well. We’ve just left our build space at Ford and are in the process of setting up at a new location. If anyone has pictures, that’d be nice too.

I’ll hit on some of the things we’re doing to setup in our new area.

First, we’ve always used the FIRST supplied plastic totes for parts storage. Primarily because they were free. It’s a royal pain though because inventory control is impossible. Going to get a cim usually meant pulling a big box off a shelf and digging through it.

Now they were are moving we’ve started seperating and organizing to improve access to components. In addition, having individual bins for different components improves inventory control: you can check if you’re out of something and order more in a second. In a perfect world we’d have an andon or kaizan pull card system. We use the small plastic bins from Home Depot / Lowes. We have close to 40 bins now, broken up into categories like traction wheels, omni wheels, banebot transmissions, cimpleboxes, toughboxes, supershifters etc.

Last year we also expanded our fastener and small component storage using these containers:
We have a standard toolbox for our hand tools, although that’s starting to get pretty full once you add in all the specialized electrical hand tools we have now (tachometer, ammeter, etc). We’ll have to look at improving that soon.

When we travel, we have a single roll-around shelving unit that we store most of our things in, and a single work-bench. We don’t take our large containers with us. We use something like these to carry out fasteners:

We had our big gray fastener containers tip over during our 2011 IRI trip. Sealed is the way to go when traveling.

Our batteries travel in a cubby that is built into our workbench. They get put into our battery cart once we get to competition. Our battery ‘cart’ is just a push-dolly with battery holders welded on, and our 5 station battery charger strapped to the bottom.

For files and media, we have a 2TB NAS that is connected to our computer network and is password protected. Synology makes some nice NAS storage for SOHO applications that doesn’t break the bank. Just make sure you’re careful about getting one that can sustain high enough throughput if your media team is going to be using it with big files.

Frankly, we’ve never had raw material storage in our buildspace. Sure, a stick or two of aluminum, a piece of lexan, some plastic blueboard, but that’s about it. We’re looking at actually getting raw material storage now, but that’s still on the drawing board.

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We are in the process of still moving back into our shop after having it being remodeled for the past year+

What I ended up doing was create a Microsoft Visio diagram of the room based upon the architects drawings.

From there I went through all the work places and workflow we have as a team. This ranged from CAD/Design/Business areas to Electronics, and fabrication assembly areas. The visio diagram really allowed us to get an idea on how much room we had and how we could best store it.
Of course the plan wasn’t perfect. But it was a great start. I have attached a PDF of a fairly current version of the plan. It went through many iterations.

As for parts storage, we ended up doing the following: General hardware such as bolts nuts, or anything along those lines were stored in plastic bins.
Mcmaster carries them though they are pricey. so we went to GlobalIndustrial for them. They come in a variety of bin sizes from 24-12 compartments. Plus we found that the carrying case is pretty good. Here is a link

For spacers, drill bits or standoffs, taps, and dies. Or anything really little… We went with the Akro-Mills storage as mentioned before. these also hold our end mills and drill bits in our machine shop.

As for bigger items we went with the hanging/stacking storage bins. These are also from globalIndustrial. Getting them in different sizes allowed us to match size with the items we had. Shipping was getting pricey on the large bins so look for a local reseller.

here is the link to the bins

As for batteries, we have a 10 battery storage cart (6 charge) that sits next to the electrical area.

When we are back in our shop on Sunday I can take some photos to show how its been turning out. (its by no means done but its a good start… we have til January to be ready!!!)

RobotRoom_V4.pdf (158 KB)

RobotRoom_V4.pdf (158 KB)

I never knew Visio could do floor plans! Thanks for the recommendation, I just finished one for our own room.

Oh, you have a crummy water fountain too!?

I’m pretty sure those are required by law in public high schools. :rolleyes:

We have a few (All useless)