Robonauts CAD

I’ve just found this out, and I thought I’d post it here because it was really useful for me.

The robonauts have put up CAD models of their 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2012 robots, which are really neat, very detailed, and some of the best CAD work I’ve ever seen from an FRC team. I now know how their massive gearbox in 2007 works!

You can download them from here

I really wanted to see the CADs of their 2013 and 2010 robots. Hopefully that’s going to happen.

(Also, those huge STEP files should probably be delivered compressed—they’ll be about 10% of the size.)

Agreed on those request.

Also agreed on .zip for step files. It’s AMAZING how efficiently they compress. It’s fun actually.

there goes the rest of my day. Seriously love how amazing 118’s bots are. I hope 118 post the CAD of the side bridge mechanism from 2012, that thing was really cool even though it got the ruled as illegal. Probably the most inspirational FIRST robot mechanism to only to be used in a practice match.

Yeah, looking back, that was totally unfair to make it illegal.

I wouldn’t say totally unfair. The game manual did say no “grappling” on the bridges. Different people had different interpretations of what constituted grappling, and so by making the mechanism 118 took a risk.

This is incredible. I don’t think a single robot has had a bigger impact on my team than Robonaut 2012, and now we can check out the CAD! Thanks so much to an incredible team for posting these models.

The unfair part is when multiple teams repeatedly asked FIRST for a definition of “grapple” and FIRST wouldn’t provide it. The ruling on “grapple” in 2012 also relied on a different definition than 2011.

I was watching a piece on the BBC website about 3D printing this afternoon and noticed a short clip of a complete CAD of Endeavour as well as a closeup of a wheel I believe.

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Wow, that’s really cool! For those interested, 118 shows up around the 2:15 mark.

That is interesting…

I don’t recognize that CAD operator or the area that he is working in. I wonder where that footage is from?

Ironically enough we didn’t use 3D printed wheels. We 3D printed a positive mold tool then cast the wheels from a different plastic.

Still cool to have something I designed make it into the video though.

Also, we’re working on updating the CAD files on the website. For now you can get them here:

Wow. The 2013 CAD is really impressive. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a cooler and more detailed CAD of any robot. Literally every thing on the robot is in the model.

I’m a huge fan of your gearbox. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another team use a dog shifter between a gear and a sprocket.

Just out of curiosity, how do you guys work with these massive files? It took me a good 10 minutes just to open it, and I have to look at individual assemblies or it is too slow. Does solidworks do a better job than inventor with big assemblies? For me, inventor uses 5 gb of RAM just to have the file open.

Ditto, I’m having fun just exploring the model. SO many impressive details.

Question, I’m looking at the “Magic Maker”, shooter angle flap. Why both the string and 10 turn pot? Redundancy? Flexibility to choose one or the other on the final product? Something I’m totally missing?

Another question, was Apex single speed? From what I can tell, the dog shifts between DT and Climb Wheel.

Thanks so much for posting these models! Can’t wait to show my kids on Wednesday. This is inspiring stuff.


We use Pro-E. The models get sluggish but people rarely work inside the complete model.

We divide the design and modeling tasks amongst the individual mentor leads. They’re responsible for their sub-team’s assemblies. We define a coordinate system for the robot…you essentially build your parts at your default location. When you bring each sub-assembly into the master you can drop it at “default” and it goes where it belongs.

Not everyone is a professional designer though, so we have one group that manages the master model and integrates to make sure we have no interference issues.

The “macker” or deflector used a pot for positioning. The string pot in the model is from an early design. Conceptual features aren’t always removed from the model.

So I was examining this CAD model in all its glory, and I noticed that there weren’t any visible chain or belt runs on the drivetrain.

At least until I looked inside the long chassis rails:

Maybe I’m missing something, but how did you get your chain in there? Also, did you have any issues with running 6 CIMs on the drivetrain (current draw popping the main breaker for example)?

Thanks for posting this model, really appreciate getting the opportunity to look at 118’s amazing work!

They switched to 4 CIM + 2 Mini CIM after they took their climber off

Maybe I’m missing something, but how did you get your chain in there?

You drop the chain and sprockets straight into the tube from one end. Then, while the sprockets are approximately in position, you slip your shaft into place and put the backside bearing in.

We ran this setup all year without maintenance.

221 Robotic Systems is launching a production version based on this design for 2014. Personally I loved the space we gained back by moving the chains inside and the weight saved by removing the tensioning device.

Wow, I did not think internal chain like that without tensioner a was even possible. I can’t believe the chain never stretched or loosened. The space savings over internal timing belt (not to mention cost) means my team will have to seriously consider this as an option for 2014.

I can’t believe the chain never stretched or loosened.

I’m sure it did loosen over time…likely due to sprocket wear. However, it can’t go anywhere. It would have to eat away the tubing to jump off.

FYI…I’m quite sure FRC233 has been doing this for a while. There may be others too.

340 has been doing it for the past couple of years too.

It was definitely cool to see at IRI, and just made quite a lot of sense. I was surprised to have not thought of it before.

PS - I always tell this to people who ask me about 118, but Anthony gives THE BEST robot tours. I look forward to it each time I see them.

Thanks for the CAD!