pic: Honey, I Shrunk The Rack!

What do you do when you have a bunch of Vex kits, a lot of students with ideas, and Shrink ray developed during the off-season? Well zap your full size rack down into miniature! :stuck_out_tongue:

More seriously, here is an exact 1/3 scale version of the rack from this year’s game as it appeared right before it was completed. The entire structure was made out of misc. parts available from Home Depot that cost about $55.

The best part of it is that all the spider legs behave almost exactly as they did on the full size FRC version at the Manchester, NH kickoff event. Currently we have two groups of students building several Vex robots with various arm, elevator, and manipulator designs that they came up with.

Although we plan to eventually build half of the full-scale rack as soon as we start getting parts back from the CNC shop, this is a great way to prototype ideas and strategy early on in the build season!

(For more information on this, see my white paper Using Vex in your FRC Team! or Team 40’s Mini FRC competition.)

Wow, very cool. Be sure to post pics of the completed VEX robots as well!


That is so cool!

Haha thats awsome you guys…Great Job!

That is awesome. If my life depended on it, I could not make a perfect octagon. Kudos for everybody who can, hehe. Good job on that mini-Rack, and have fun with your VEX robots. Sounds like fun. I should have bought a VEX kit when they were like 100$ when my local radioshack went out of business.


wow…thats awsome!!!
i want one…
i wish i could go to your comp!!
oh well…great job!!!


Sweet can I come and play?! :smiley: Looks very much like the real thing. One question, what are you using as the game piece? Kudos on the great work!!

Aww it’s so cute and little. Very nice job, were working on a full size one right now, I can’t wait to see it done. :slight_smile:

I trust this will be at the UTC Regional?

We’re going to borrow Team 40’s Mini FRC idea for a playing field piece, of using pool noodles as the playing field object. :wink:


Wow, very cool. Be sure to post pics of the completed VEX robots as well!
Hopefully when we are done we’ll have a mini playing field that’s as “polished” looking as our 1/3 scale Triple Play playing field. (We never really did create an entire 2006 Aim High field, but I do have a 1/3 scale center goal at my house made out of 1/8" Lexan…)

The funny thing is that I still have all those mini tetras, goals, and most of that robot still intact at my house, as they are great PR tools for our team. They are transported easily, easy to set up and explain, and the best thing is letting complete strangers drive the robot and score tetras, as they always love it!



Quite possibly. :stuck_out_tongue:

Question- How have other teams gone about building the acual size rack?
It’s huge and takes a lot of materials. Any suggestions on how to make a cheap and easy rack?

Awwww. And I thought our 1/3rd scale rack was sweet. Thats awesome! You guys order 4" Cathode Tubes for it? Very nice Art! Very Nice!

Can we borrow that Saturday? :yikes:

We’re using PVC pipe instead of metal. Plus other replacements, so that you get the same general preperties without the huge expense.

Very nice Art! I would expect no less than an awesome start to the season from you and the rest of GUS by making this.

Now all we need is some detailed pics and some CAD drawings to recreate this beauty.

Or at least some video of the rack in motion to see how it compares to the real thing. :slight_smile:

Kudos to 228 for the mini-rack!

I thought about picking up some 4" Cathodes or I might make an array of green LEDs salvaged from some traffic signals that I picked up at work. Right now we’re just working on manipulator designs with the rack. Autonomous will be a little later.

If you don’t mind 4 hours of travel to pick it up and bring it back! :eek:

Elgin, just take the official FRC Rack CAD Drawings from the FIRST Website, divide all the dimensions by 3, and then use the nearest available material size. (Such as for the 2" actual-size spider legs, you can use 3/4" Electrical PVC pipe.) :wink:

Ha ha ha works for me. I have to go to the store sometime soon anyways to get some PVC for a side project of mine. (Something a little different than a rack ;)) Maybe it’ll be wise to make one like you did so everyone understands the true nature of the rack before our first competition.

Or maybe after I CAD the whole rack up, I’ll just pop the parts in the rapid prototype machine at school. Who knows.

VEX Prototyping I guess.

Nice! I wish we had enough people (and money) to do that