The New and Improved FIRST CAD Library

Well I’ve finally got the “New and Improved” FIRST CAD Library up and running and I’m hoping some of you with access to various cad systems can give me a little feedback (bugs, suggestions, etc). I’m still tweeking, converting, and uploading models and my plan is to have everything I have on this site by the kickoff.

I’ve made several enhancements to the library as outlined on the opening page and I’ve uploaded a few of my newer models already.

Check out:

Drillmotor in the Mechanical Library
Opticalswitch in the Electrical Library
Compressor in the Pneumatic Library
The “Manufactured” library (Home Grown Parts)

Any help from you guys to make this thing error free and more useful is greatly appreciated.




While Autocad is unfortunately the most widely used CAD syatem out there, IMHO it sucks for space planning and 3d modeling. Will you have room on your server to have store the files in more formats in the future? I don’t expect you to do all the work yourself, let’s face it there are better things to do in this world then to sit at a computer and make drawings or models, and what you have done is already a valuable asset to FIRST so…My question is: Will you allow teams involved with FIRST to convert the Autocad files you have to other formats, ie: Solidworks, CADKEY, Pro E, etc. and then send them back to you? I think the more formats the parts are created in would save time, and time is a valuable thing during those fun yet hectic six weeks!

Put my vote in for PRO\Engineer & PRO\Desktop formats. :slight_smile:

Actually, how about formats like IGES and parasolids? Perhaps you could knock out two (or three) birds with one stone.

My delema is that I am trying to provide a service that can be used by all teams. In a nutshell, I need to find a few file types that can be imported my most of the CAD applications that all of us use. I only have access to Autocad, Inventor, and Solid Edge and do not know what file types (other than native) the other CAD applications can work with. I can generate IGES and dxf from Autocad and I’ve posted a few examples.

If some of you with other CAD software could try out these examples, I would be grateful.

At the very least I will provide the Inventor files because obviously that is one common application we all have access to.

While I would love to accept models from other teams with other applications, I have a couple concerns.

  1. I have no way of verifying the contents and integrity of the file.

  2. I have limited space on the server.

I will accept models in one of the “known” formats however if any team is inclined to contribute. So far, all of the models are my own work.

Ed, your new library is the best thing since Dew! The files are so nicely organised, and the previews are nice to have. All in all, your new site is very fluid and precise, and your ‘Under Construction’ gifs are neato. Thanks for sharing your work with all of us here, Ed!

Ed is the CAD God of FIRST

Keep up the great work!

I can generate IGES and dxf from Autocad and I’ve posted a few examples.

Thanks! Which parts happen to have IGES formats available? I’d like to try an import on PRO\Desktop to see if the model arrives intact.

Ed, your new library is the best thing since Dew!

Man! Talk about the ultimate compliment, to be compared with Dew! I may never get over it …

I put every file type I can generate on the drill motor in the Mechanical library. If I were to go back and do this to all the files, would everyone interested be covered?


I just wanted to let you know that the IGES import went flawlessly. :slight_smile:


The .sat file for the drill motor came into Solidworks perfect…just one question, What unit of measure were these parts drawn in originally???

MM, IN, FT, M?

I need everything preferably to scale while I do some space planning on the BOT!!

You all do know that the design award is in inventor this year…besides why work with obsolete and outdated software anyways?

Some parts were drawn metric (mm) and others english (in). If the part doesn’t make sense, scale it by a factor of 25.4 and it should work out. I choose to draw in whatever units the part is manufactured in (and my calipers are set to).

BTW, I just released more parts in the mechanical library. Check out the tranny parts.


Just curious, how often do the components in the robotics kit change? I’m coming from a rookie team, and my understanding is that the parts that are given aren’t known until the kickoff. Or are the parts similar enough every year that you gurus can predict what’s in 'em?

-=- SK

Last year probably 90% of the parts were the same as previous years I believe. Usually there are only additions to the kit I think the newest ones were the gyro a few years ago and a proximity sensor this year?? (2001 was my first year - someone please correct me if I’m wrong?)

Elgin’s right. Most of the parts repeat year to year. A few are added and a few are dropped but most stay the same as the prior year. Parts that appear in the CAD Library are things that we have seen before. I keep the “dropped” parts in the library for prototype reasons and mark them with a (!).

On January 5, we I get my hands on the new kit of parts, I will begin modeling the “new” stuff.


Do you have the .dwg files offline for a reason? I can’t seem to access the AutoCad files with .dwg extensions. Are there times you take them offline so you can work on them???

Also, on some of the icons for the parts you list a Part Number (P/N); where are these numbers from???
Who’s Part Numbers are they?

I’m not sure why you are having trouble with the .dwg files. I downloaded a few and everything seems ok. I never disable files so that’s not it. I use explorer.

Those models with part numbers have data sheets or catalog pages attatched. Click on the drill motor thumbnail for example, and the manufacturer’s data sheet will display in a seperate browser page.


Team 217 uses SolidWorks to do all of our design (mainly because my company supplies engineers to the team and we have about 30 seats of SolidWorks at the student’s disposal). The point of this post is that SolidWorks can read the inventor, SAT, Parasolid, ACIS, Unigraphics, and ProE files well. So you have the SolidWorks people covered. If you need any assistance in uploading parts, we have many small parts items modeled in SolidWorks and we can save IGES, STEP, ACIS, Parasolid and STL.

If you need any help, just yell.


*Originally posted by Ed Sparks *
**I’m not sure why you are having trouble with the .dwg files. I downloaded a few and everything seems ok. I never disable files so that’s not it. I use explorer.

Well thanks to a huch on my part I found my problem. It’s an obvious problem; AUTOCAD SUX!! LOL

Seriously, I tried to click on the link to get the .dwg and the .dxf files and kept coming up with an error message. I first thought it was the way your website was set up, maybe the files were offline or something. But it turns out it wasn’t your site or even my browser, it’s my ver. of autocad. I’m using ver. 2000i and apparently this version of autocad which touts itself as being I-net compatible has a serious flaw (big surprise)! lol

It dosen’t let me open .dwg files directly from the I-net but everytime I want to do that I have to manually type in the URL of the file into the “Open” dialogue box in Autocad and then it works. This as I stated before REALLY SUX!!!

If anyone knows of a patch for this blatent AutoCad problem please let me know.

Thank you in advance!

Thanks to all of the SolidWorks “Testers”. It sounds like we’re good to go with that community. How about those other platforms out there?


I would be happy to host any models that team 217 would like to make “public” in fact, I would like to make an appeal to all teams that are willing to share some or all of their models. Just send them to me via email. I’ll run the files through a virus check (not that I don’t trust you but stuff happens), verify accuracy, translate, and post. STEP files seem to work best for me given the apps that I have but I could also accept Inventor(V3), ACIS, IGES, and DXF.

It would be great to have a “complete” library so that we can concentrate on using CAD to design our 'bots from day 1 rather than having to spend so much time generating models of parts.

If you send in models, please provide the author’s name and team number so that I can give credit where its due and by all means, be sure the author gives his/her premission to post their work.

The kickoff is right aroung the corner, lets be ready …

BTW I’ll be in Kokomo for the kickoff … got some canned possium and grits for Andy to try out. :wink: