Reducing the weight of our intake

If all else fails, use bungee cord or a torsion style spring to take some of the weight off the motors.

If your team hasn’t looked into plate or tube pocketing (or lightening), I highly suggest you try it. Patterns like this typically work well for versaframe and longer plates (although if you don’t have access to a CNC router / box tube cutting jig, then you could go with a less complex pattern with a mill or something like that)

If those plates in the back are sheet metal, then you probably shouldn’t pocket them since they would lose most of their rigidity. You could consider switching those to 1/8" aluminum sheets with pocketing, but that’s a different question

Since all of our holes are actually circles (conduit punch), I feel like the best removing of weight without changing the strength is to arrange them triangle-close-packed.

But it really depends on the area you’re doing and how much weight you need to lose. If you’re really on a diet, you’ll even run a single row of 3/4" holes down the back of the 1-inch side of a 2x1 aluminum rectangle section.

Also, you’ll have to make a decision on hole size. Big holes go in faster, but can’t go to the corners and tight areas as well so you’ll end up with less total weight loss with bigger holes.

I normally encourage ‘webs’ of at least 1/4" between holes. Again, a decision you’ll make.

I don’t have a CNC to make the patterns perfectly, so we print our CAD 1:1 on letter-size paper, tape them together and spray-glue them to the metal to get the centerlines for center punch. Actually do this for most of the parts.

Also, no reason to keep it boring (pun intended)…we’re “Panther Robotics” so some Panther Paws looks pretty cool too.

Swisscheese it?