Building on some of the newest features built into Onshape. I hereby introduce configurable VexPro Parts!
Just search ‘1745’ when inserting parts into your assemblies. You’ll find the following with more to come:
- Motors (Switch seamlessly between CIM and MiniCIM)
- Hex Spacers and Standoffs
- Shafts of Custom Length
- VersaFrame Extrusion of Custom Length
- Pulleys* (Coming Soon)
What does this mean for you?
Change the length of a shaft without having to model it yourself or use a ‘Move Face’ feature. Change from a 12T sprocket to a 22T sprocket seamlessly. Change from a hex bearing to a thunderhex bearing or a 1/2" round bearing. And so many others!
One of the current downsides of Onshape is it’s inability to easily replace one part with another. All the mates will break and have to be redone. Now you can insert a part, like a gear or sprocket, and then change it to a similar part without mates breaking. It will just update! After you have inserted it, change between configurations by right clicking on the part in the assembly and select ‘Change Configuration…’
Part numbers are used as extensively as possible so they should come up correctly on your BOMs. Part numbers and names do not not work on configurable length parts at this time due to Onshape limitations. Materials, appearance, and weights should be mostly correct.
How do you use them?
There are two ways to use a part in Onshape.
- Most commonly, you will insert a part into an Assembly. Then use mate connectors to place and constrain the part.
- Sometimes, you’ll want to bring the part into a Part Studio using the Derived feature. This will allow you to add features to the part, like grooves in a shaft or extra holes in a piece of rectangular tubing. Don’t forget that I have a ‘Custom Extrusion’ Featurescript available that might better suit your needs in this case, but everyone likes to do things differently.
For more complex configured Part Studios such as the WCD SS Gearbox, you must configure it correctly upfront then insert it into an assembly. Don’t forget to select all these parts and group them so they don’t move relative to one another!!! If you’re super fancy, you can only group some of the parts and then add gear relations where appropriate. I recommend inserting the parts into their own assembly then adding that gearbox assembly to your robot. It will be difficult to switch back and forth between different configurations of a gearbox (at least until Onshape introduces Assembly Configurations), but at least you can have your CAD quickly reflect your purchases.
Disclaimer: Please understand that I am generating these parts myself. This was significantly more involved than just importing Vex’s STEP files. Part profiles, specifically gears, will not be 100% identical to Vex’s files. But they are pretty close and shouldn’t affect your CAD models. The only caveat is be careful that you are paying attention when using the parts to 3D print.
While you have the ability to make copies of public Onshape Documents, keep in mind that your copy will not receive any fixes/future updates that I make to my master Document.
Please let me know if you find any mistakes or have any questions about using these parts (how or why). If you have any part/assembly requests, I will try to accommodate before the 2019 FRC season begins.