Time Saving Idea

Posted by Chris, Coach on team #308, Walled Lake Monster, from Walled Lake Schools and TRW Automotive Electronics.

Posted on 3/30/99 11:09 AM MST

This may have been brought up before, but I never saw
anything posted, so I’ll propose this here.

I would like to see FIRST give all of the teams an
electronic drawing package with the kit of parts. What
do I mean? If you draw your robot parts on a CAD
package (which I think most teams do), teams need to
spend time creating drawings of the parts in the kit
that they want to use so they can use these parts in
the overall CAD drawing. This can take teams a long
time to do. Most experienced teams save their CAD files
from one year to the next, but rookie teams don’t have
this luxury (and many people on this site are always
discussing ways to get rookie teams up to speed faster).
Even experienced teams decide to use things from the
kit that they haven’t used in the past.

This is my proposal (and contingency proposal):

Proposal: Every company that makes parts should have
CAD drawings of their parts (how else would they
manufacutre them?) The companies should convert the CAD
drawings to IGES format and give the drawings to FIRST
along with the donated parts. FIRST could then combine
all of the drawings onto one CD-ROM and place the
CD-ROM in the kit along with all of the parts. I’m not
asking anyone to give away such detailed drawings that
they give away company secrets. For example: I don’t
care how the inside of a motor works, but it would be
nice to have a drawing of the casing, the mounting
points, and the output shaft.

Contingency Proposal: Perhaps companies won’t donate
their drawings. However, as I stated earlier, most
teams create drawings of the kit parts that they are
using on their robots. Maybe a database of these
drawings could be created by teams ‘donating’ the
drawings that they have done. Between all of the teams,
almost all of the kit parts should be covered. The only
issue is finding a place to maintain the database.

Any ideas on this?