Sheetmetal Robot

So our team is fairly new to the Robot scene. We just finished up our second season and were ambitious enough to try to build a “sheet metal” style robot in our second season and were very happy with our success with it. We have a good understanding of the basic concept but are trying to familiarize ourselves with every aspect of the design. One team that we really admire is 971, Spartan Robotics. We love how they utilize sheet metal in all of their designs. One question that I need answered is while watching their youtube videos, I notice something that I don’t recognize when they are riveting their parts together. There are these large lug/bolt type things that are sticking out of the chassis. What are these called and what are their intended purpose? I assume they are used to align the array of rivet holes. This past season we just used a nail set or a punch for the same purpose. If anyone on here knows what they are that would be great and any other useful tips about sheet metal design would be much appreciated.


Amazon link:

You also need some special pliers to use them:

Great! Thanks guys

Cleco’s are fast and handy. But it’s one more special tool and construction only parts to keep track off.

We use only 3/16 inch rivets, that use a #10 Drill (0.1935) as a clearance hole. This is just large enough to use #10 fastener (.190 Major Diameter) & bolts as temporary construction clamps.

Our standard shop fastener is a 10-24 cap head, so using them as a temporary fastener is an obvious choice.

At least standardizing at 3/16’ rivets gives you the flexibility of either temporary alignment clamping method.

Clamping is actually the least significant issue. For aluminum sheet metal construction, you will need a large brake with an appropriate bend radius and experience/practice making accurate bends. We own a 48" finger brake that weighs well over 1200 lbs.

Fortunately, one of our sponsors is Intimidator UTV’s and they cut out all of our designed parts on their huge laser cutter and bend all the parts in their hydraulic CNC Brake. The same one that they use to bend the 5/16" plate steel for chassis parts for the UTVs.