The Grabanski Design Manifesto

If there is one thing I’ve observed from 8 years of being on an FRC team, it is the difference a single, impassioned student can make with the right guidance.

This is a design-focused guide I wrote for my high school team after graduating in the summer of 2019. It is aimed to helping the students of struggling teams who rarely get picked at the regional level, make the jump to the next level, as we did. It draws heavily on Spectrum’s and JVN’s blog, various chief delphi posts, the Everybot, 973 RAMP, and many more. In that sense, it is a compilation of resources in so much as a resource itself. Truly, with the right approach, and by putting the time into the CAD software of their choice, anyone can be the difference which makes their team selected for an alliance.

The Grabanski Design Manifesto.docx (3.1 MB)
The Grabanski Design Manifesto.pdf (3.3 MB)

Fixed Hyperlinks?
The Grabanski Design Manifesto-3.pdf (2.3 MB)


Even as a team that isn’t necessarily struggling, this is an invaluable resource that really everyone on the build team should read, freshmen and veterans alike. Good stuff.

Whelp. Students are not gunna like the required homework of reading the first section or two if they want to be considered for captains in the future.

This is great stuff! Definitely going to use this in our off-season design training. Thank you for taking the time to put this together.

I’m happy I have the next 2 weeks off to read this.

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Nice article! I had time to skim it over and now to dig deep and learn a few tricks from this. Appreciate you posting this here!

Awesome resource, thanks for releasing this! I’m recommending this to everyone on my team to read while in quarantine

I have a technical problem though - I can’t use any of the links in the PDF version. Is there a chance you could fix it?

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Funny, some of them work for me and others don’t–I’ll take a look at it in a second!

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Thank you so much for making such an amazing resource. I’m really excited to show my team that I’m not crazy with wanting to prototype in CAD, and that it is okay to be ambitious.


So, what I’ve learned from playing around for a while, is that my installation of Microsoft word seems to be pretty messed up. I’m lazy, so as a temporary fix, I just shoved the .docx into an online converter. The hyperlinks should now link hyper-ly, but my beautiful font choice is in shambles! ¡Que Lastima!

Let me know of any other issues, questions, or suggestions!

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Skimmed it. Seems cool. Thanks for doing it. I may assign this as reading for my students who are stuck at home. One thing that would be great is on the last couple pages, if you took the dimensions to 3 decimal places just so we can be very sure they aren’t being rounded.

I think this is a great resource, even for teams with a ton of design knowledge.

Of course! Can’t promise that it will happen anytime soon, but I’ll add it to the list of changes for the (probably inevitable) next version!

“sum of it’s parts” -> “sum of its parts”
“accessible by the entire time” -> “accessible by the entire team
“it keeps in the team in conversation” -> “it keeps in the team in conversation”

Some of your blue text in the PDF aren’t actually links - but the ones that are raw URL text do work.