Show off Your Machining! 2014

I really liked this 2013 thread, so I was wondering what cool parts teams have made this year. For those of us who didn’t have much time to wander through the pits this year and check out all the neat parts, let’s see some cool parts!

Upper case for out swerve drive. Manually machined all holes located to ± .0015 All bearing press fits ±.001 (on this one some were emergency made). Weight loss is weight loss so not to accurate i suck at doing x/y axis at the same time.

Tyler, can you please upload that image to a website like imgur and link it?

Also, /thread. Beautiful part.


Some of our “raw”, un-anodized parts. The OP of the 2013 thread will probably post the high-res individual part pictures later.

That’s a pretty “raw” photo of our messy workbench too. Quality… :wink:

Here’s a couple photos of the parts in finished form, that I’ve previously uploaded to CD media.

And I have probably a dozen more photos of a similar style, but I figured I’d let others post some first.

In the attachment is a photo of some non-FRC parts I’ve been working on recently. Very simple 2-operation parts.

Just curious, how much do you usually spend on just stock aluminuim billets for wheels and stuff? You must go through a ton of material (and really thick material too) to make all those parts. They sure are beautiful though, I love how alu billet machined parts look.

We paid $243 for a 2"x4" bar (12’) of 6061 that we used to make wheels. That was part of a ~600 lb order. Probably would have been substantially cheaper if we pushed our order up to the 1000-1500 lb range, which is what it often is at the beginning of the season.

Still not bad at ~$2.10/lb though.

What makes you use rectangular stock instead of a large round?

Way faster and easier IMO.

With Round Stock:

-Cut Pieces to length
-Lathe one side flat
-Machine Softjaw for Both Side’s/Flip

With Flat Bar:

-Cut to approximate length, depending on cam ± .25".
-No special jaw on the initial machining, will need one for the flipping of the wheel.

Also why would you use Round over Rect. Stock?

Everything RC said. The only reason to use round would be if you’re using a CNC lathe for the first operation.

large diameter round is more expensive than rectangle and you can get into trouble if you don’t have a good saw. Any taper in your cut is basically irrelevant with a rectangular block, but is going to cause excess material and time to be wasted with round stock. If you had a cold saw or a really good horizontal bandsaw, you could probably cut square within .001-.005 and go directly into the mill, but like RC said you’d have to cut soft jaws (or use a 3 jaw chuck or something). Plus cutting through a 4" diameter round with the typical bandsaw owned by a FRC team is going to take ages.

Not to derail the thread but it’s a good discussion. When we make round parts, I almost always go with round stock, and no lathe operations. Our horizontal bandsaw has actually been holding +/- .005 lately. It takes me 3 minutes to cut a 3.5" round using a (too fine) 14 TPI blade. It’s a snap (2 minutes) to machine some softjaws to hold it. And by using round that is just slightly larger than the finished part, I’m not paying for much bar stock I know will just be turned to chips, and I’m reducing machine cycle time because I don’t have to machine away that extra stock. We pay between $1.89 and $3.69 per pound depending on the shape and supplier. Unless I need it same day, I’m usually paying around $2.00 per pound. The 12 foot bar I just bought of 6061-T6 3.5" dia round was $300, taxed and delivered to my shop floor.

Okay, now back to the pictures.


The somewhat short backstory; in 2013 season we ended up with a critical part on the robot that vaguely resembled a cats head. Someone decided to draw eyes and whiskers on it and it was called ‘The Kitty’ for the rest of the season with much affection. 2014 had no kitty shaped parts and everyone was disappointed (well, I was). We opted to make some heavier brackets after seeing some worrisome bending at a week zero but ran out of shop time to do it. I took a little time out of my workday to machine them as withholding allowance and decided to work in the kitty shape and face as a surprise. Some of my wife’s jewelry enamel filled in the detail. It accomplished nothing practical, but everyone seemed to enjoy them. I’m not sure if my fellow coaches will ever fully trust me to make parts without supervision again, but hey, worth it.

Most of the serious machining 95 did this past season can be seen in this thread.

This picture really doesn’t do the arm justice, I’ll see if I can get a closer one anywhere. This thing really was a beast when it worked though.

I was sad to find out that the original “Show off your machining” thread was closed, so I guess I’ll have to settle for reviving this one…
It’s the back plate of an off season WCD gearbox.

Can you describe the machining operations for this? What size bits were you using? What cutting speeds and feeds? How long did the machining process take?

Looks like it was water jetted.

Nothing crazy machining wise but this assembly was designed and machined in just over 2 hours. The delrin bushing was machined in that time too. I was pretty proud of how fast we were able to iterate our design in 2015.

I can’t tell anymore. I remember when waterjet produced distinctive edges but it seems like that’s not the case anymore.

I’m eager to see where we end up in a year since we’ve added a CNC mill and lathe to our shop this year. Trying to get students to start using them this year and get shop supervisor more involved with the team.

It still produces a very distinctive edge. It’s matte and speckled. Almost “frosty” looking

Here are a few pictures some neat parts/assemblies on our 15 bot.

Google Photos
Google Photos

The second picture is of our elevator drive transmission, which was designed to be easy to swap out. The entire assembly is mounted on a 1/4" aluminum plate and drops out of the robot with three bolts. Then, the two pieces of square tubing can be unscrewed from the plate. The box on the left has a shaft coupler to allow the versaplanetary to be swapped quickly and the box on the right has a 10:1 worm reduction.