TIG Welder at Worlds

We noticed some welds starting to crack after out last competition. We are thinking of quick fixes to get by through state, but if we continue to world’s, is there any teams that are bringing a TIG welder for aluminum that we could use? It wouldn’t take long, just about 6 short welds.

I would have serious safety concerns about operating any kind of welder in a team’s pit. The on site machine shop may be able to do some welding for you, though.

The machine shop run by NASA at champs is really good, they have TIG welding equipment among a lot of other things. They won’t let you do the welding yourself, but you can just show the guys what you want done and they do it. The welds we got by them last year, were really really good, they TIG welded a piece of broken 10mmx20mm thin wall Aluminium tube back together for us for our can burglar had no more problems with it.

I’m sure they’ll be able to help you with whatever you need welding.

We had to have some welding done on our aluminum frame a few years back at the championships. They have all the equipment and knowledge to fix you right up.

Warning. Welding while you still have electronics installed can be catastrophic to them. The machine shop folks will warn you of this and in addition will not be held responsible if said electronics are damaged…

If you are able to, remove what electronics you can. We were not able to remove our electronics board due to time constraints, had to rush to the field as it was after the fix. Luckily we keep a majority of our electronics on Lexan sheets and we didn’t have any damage.

Just be aware it certainly could.

Good luck at Champs!


Thank you all! If we found a welder to use, it wouldn’t be used in the pits, we would try to take the part outside.

The trouble is that at Champs there aren’t exactly a lot of outside areas which would be suitable for welding in. Because of the amount of people inside and outside the venue, I don’t think it would be at all possible to do this. The venue staff would definitely say no to this. Nobody wants kids who may not have been exposed to the dangers of welding to get Arc Eye (I have had Arc Eye, it is not fun).

But the machine shop can do this, and yes as TikiTech said, be careful with your electronics

According to the admin manual, the only TIG welding you could do would be in the machine shop. Luckily, they only ban electric and torch welding, so you can still safely cold weld your chassis back together

Since you cannot fabricate outside the pits the machine shop is the only option.

I’m not sure why you’d want to use anyone other than the NASA shop. They have the right equipment and experience to get the job done for you quickly and with high quality.

In the past we have been in a crunch we wrapped all of our electronics in aluminum foil… Not sure if it did much but it definitely didn’t mess our electronics up!

Ignoring T17, how would you find enough power for an arc welder outside?

It’s isn’t too uncommon to find power sockets in outside areas, in Sydney anyway. Long extension cable? :slight_smile:

Welders need more than a standard NEMA 5-15 receptacle.

ARC/MIG/TIG welders run just fine off the standard household powerpoint (240v@10amp) in Australia. Maybe there wouldn’t be able to get enough current to do larger jobs, but I’ve never had any problems with ARC Welding at home again(240v)

What’s the standard max current output for US powerpoints?

110~120 VAC @ 15 A.

We were hoping a big team would bring an engine driven TIG welder we could use.

And this will only be the second time my team will go to World’s and we are a team full of new team members (2 returning members out of 9), so we didn’t realize their was a machine shop we could use. Thank you all for the help! The team was happy to hear we will be able to weld our arm back together if it gets worse.

I’m glad you found the help you needed. Congratulations on getting to champs!

Please pay attention to all of the manuals. The only place a robot can be worked on at any competition is in the pits. No work can be done outside of the venue and brought in (such as after hours in a hotel room). The machine shop (or official venue machine shop designated area) is the only place welding can ever occur.

Look for this IN the pits at Worlds.

Not sure what to say…

This would not insulate from the current that is used when welding.
As well I am not sure this would even stop any heavy slag…

Luck was certainly on your side!

As I recall the NASA machine shop was setup for MIG welding, not sure if they had TIG there.
Though it has been a few years since we needed welding at the championships, thankfully.


Thank you all for the help. Some people at Michigan District Championships asked us about the cracking, and it is not a serious problem to any that are wondering. They are minor cracks that we wanted to prevent from spreading. We were able to use bolts to hold everything tight together.