Should I continue with the FirstCadLibrary ?

Given all of the CAD resources available now, I’m debating if I should update the FirstCadLibrary. Is it still useful or has the time come to retire the site? Is there anything that I can do to the site to make it more relevant? Do you have a CAD model wishlist?

I’d appreciate your comments …

Ed, regardless of your decision I want to say thank you for the many years you have kept it running.

Ed personally the FIRST CAD Library gave me motivation and probably Jeff to start our own Library. Which is

Ed, the only problem I had with the FIRST CAD library was how outdated it was and it supported formats that didn’t matter to me at the time. My goal and Jeff’s was to create a library that was open to the public, supported as much as possible and was a collection of as many parts as possible.

Ed I really hope you keep this site going but I did have an idea that I have been itching to ask you.

What if we combine our resources and build a whole new site from scratch? I’ve been wanting to this whole summer to redo our entire layout, create a better naming system and add in more functionality to the site.
With the new site:

-Cleaner Layout and no more frames
-One central place for parts
-Bigger collaboration of the FIRST community working on CAD
-Having as many models available to FIRST community.

Ed, what if we did what Greg did for the blue alliance and we let cd members contribute ideas? Then we make it happen? As I have not run this by Jeff, I personally would be open to a new system and the opportunity to pool our resources.

At one point I asked Anthony (Team 221 LLC) if we could host all of his parts and he was open to the idea. Maybe with this whole new site we could integrate AM and Team 221 LLC parts better?

This is just an idea, I’m open to anything that would improve the quality of both sites.


Team 2834 has used the cad library numerous times. It is extremely useful and helpful. Thank you for keeping it updated. We would love to see some sort of CAD library still maintained and running.:slight_smile:

Ed, The CAD library has been a great help to our team, and while it hasn’t been said - we really appreciate your efforts.

I resonate with the comments that came from R.C… Personally would really like to see a system where all of the teams could easily contribute CAD. I suspect that there are quite a few potential contributors who recognize the value of collaboration and would like a chance to help make the site even stronger.

Thanks again,


One thing I value—and I know Ed values as well—is accuracy.

Essentially all of the parts on FirstCadLibrary are carefully modelled with accurate dimensions and proportions. This is especially difficult with things like motors (that have a large number of complicated features).

While designs using the simplest motors and the provided gearboxes don’t really need to pay much attention to the minor aspects of the shape of a motor, occasionally FIRST gives us something like the Bosch/Scintilla drill motor (2003 and 2004) that has features that are non-obviously important to some designs (diameter of round holes on face, thickness of case, position, diameter and depth of side holes, etc.). In a situation like that, I want to be able to depend on my CAD model to give me good information, so that I can make parts without worrying too much about how it will fit.

Even though I have the ability to measure it and model it for myself, it saves me time to have a reliable source for models. Since CAD can sometimes be a limiting factor in producing accurate parts (e.g. when you have a fast machining method provided by a good supplier), every advantage in the drafting process is worthwhile.

So accuracy is a priority for me: if it’s not a good model, I don’t even want to know it exists!


I do agree accuracy is important and its great that only one person draws it. But then your limited by how much content is available. Then that offers no room for other people to contribute.

Maybe Ed or I or a group of people could be mods and check each model that goes up?


Just from the shear number of team members who have told me they use the library, I would like to keep it up. You may not hear it enough, but people have used it. Do you track activity? That might give you a better idea.

Keep it up.

I use it regularly.

The models are very accurate and we’ve been using them for FIRST projects from day one.

Thank you for the hard work.

Ditto x100. I use Ed’s CAD library weekly. I also use RC’s often.

Andy Baker

Yup, I would say the same.

Yes, yes, yes, please continue! Your work is wonderful and highly educational. Thanks for all of your efforts.


It’s the first place I look for models. Like the others, I feel it’s a valuable resource.

me too, heck, where else can one fond such a collection of obscure robot parts modeled in several programs… keep it going!

I’ve enjoyed FIRST CAD Library for several years, and still do. If it isn’t too much trouble or cost, I’d really like to see it stay. A lot of the models are still very useful, even just as educational tools. I even like the somewhat older-fashioned website. I really appreciate everything you’ve done for the community with that site, and I hope it sticks around for a while longer.

Thanks everyone for the comments.

I’ll renew the domain, update some of the older models, and add some new models. I know the “Look” is a little dated and I’ll put some effort to that too. I wrote some ASP scripts when I started this website that automate the pages so I kind of hate to re-do all of that. As is, I just drop the files in my account and add an entry to a database file and … presto … the pages are generated.

I’m not totally against the concept of a group effort, but It would have to be a select group of contributers. My #1 concern is accuracy. I just hate using a model in a design just to discover later that a critical feature is missing or misplaced. Most, if not all of the models I post are there because I have the part in hand and I know it’s complete. The 2nd thing is that I like to use an older version of Inventor (v10) to generate my models. As most of you know, Inventor is not backward compatible and this becomes a problem if you want to use a native Inventor file from the current Autodesk kit of parts in an older version of Inventor. I know, you could use one of the generic formats, but it’s just no issue for me to use a “mature” version of Inventor.

If you have any specific requests, please post them and I’ll do what I can.

Our team uses FirstCADLibrary each and every year as a current and historical guide. It is a solid educational resource. Thank you very much for making it possible.