paper: Garnet Squadron "WorseAFrame" Hole Guides

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Garnet Squadron “WorseAFrame” Hole Guides
by: Billfred

When we needed to match the VexPro VersaFrame pattern but didn’t have time for the frame itself, we decided to fake it. And then to share it.

We had some 1" square tubing for our robot, but we still wanted to follow the VexPro VersaFrame pattern for their nice gussets and ease of use. Wanting to get this done today without sending it to our main shop at USC, we mocked up the hole pattern digitally, cut it out, attached it to our aluminum using spray adhesive, and got to drilling. With a little cleanup for public consumption, we’re sharing our “WorseAFrame” pattern for anyone else who needs a simple way to get their kids to drill straight holes.

To get the holes to match unmodified Vex gussets, you’d want to drill them with a #20 bit that may be a different size than the circle itself. But if you get the hole placement right, you can make the hole size whatever you please.

If you need longer than the 10" pieces (which we chose since most everyone has a printer that can do letter paper), simply attach them end to end and check your hole spacing at the joint.

We hope someone else finds this useful as we enter crunch time in build season!

WorseAFrame Guide.pdf (51.8 KB)

Very cool idea, we did a 1" hole pattern on our 2012 robot. One of my students drilled 1200+ with the drill press over the course of 3 days. She said it was very peaceful and like meditation.

Glad you like it! We’ve got a fresh supply of #20 drill bits coming in from McMaster, so we may do just that depending on time and priorities. The first batch came out pretty well–only one really missed hole on a longer piece (which, invariably, will be the one hole we need…), but it’s working out nicely even on the longer pieces.

Mind you, there are absolutely times where VersaFrame makes more sense than WorseAFrame; if you’re buying 10’ lengths of 1x1 tubing at your local hardware store (about $30 at last check of Lowe’s), there isn’t much cost savings until you factor in shipping. Even then, there’s a certain point where the shipping can be amortized across enough pieces to still make VersaFrame worth it. (UPS Ground for four 59-inch lengths of 1x1 VersaFrame is $17.88, so about nine bucks and three days to have about 10’ of tubing with holes at your door. At six lengths, $7.67/10ft.) If you have a source on cheaper/donated metal, then the math changes entirely.

Every team will place its own value on time, money, manpower, and machining resources, but those kinds of decisions are just part of the real world. (I’m not an engineer by any means, just a marketing guy at a car dealership, and we face with this same in-house/outsource decision often as well!)

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