Watered Down CADathon help?

Hello Chief Delphi,

So I was thinking of doing a CADathon within my team as well at my school where anybody could participate. Over two days during winter break we can set up a discord, multiple live streams, etc. I looked at F4 CADathon and it looks very difficult for a mediocre designer. To be honest I would have a pretty tough time with it as well.

Anybody has any ideas for a slightly less complicated to set up/compete in CADathon idea? I was thinking maybe build one subassembly with a given drivetrain design. We would have livestream tutorials, zoom sessions, prizes, etc.

The idea is that it’s not designers competing against each other, it is very possible new Grade 9’s that are just getting a hang of it.


That would be super useful!! I like the one subassembly idea!

The InspireNC CAD Challenge is running next week and we have both a full robot and mechanism division (mechanism is just designing one subassembly). Feel free to participate and use our game for your team’s CADathon as well! Game Manual is released on November 22nd at 12 PM. After the competition is over, there should be plenty of example robots for new people to base their designs off of as well!

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This looks amazing, Thanks!

I came up with a simplified CADathon over the summer for my students. The context was:

  • Teams of 2-3 students
  • All students had 1 year of FRC experience
  • 1 student per team had done CAD during that year, the rest were new to it
  • CADathon took place at the end of a 5 week, 1.5 hour/week crash course in mechanical design & CAD
  • CADathon lasted 2 weeks, with 3 “office hours” type meetings and the rest of the work done outside of organized meetings

The game challenge was to cross the field under one of a set of bars (going under a shorter bar was worth more points), then either climb up the blocks (similar to a 2019-type climb) and/or hang from a hanging bar. Our goal for the summer course overall was to learn how to design climbers, so I decided to keep it simple and not include other ways to score. There was a great diversity between the different designs, however no one chose to climb the blocks; if you really want people to explore that you could rebalance the point values.

If this sounds like the level of challenge you’re looking for, you’re welcome to use the game manual I wrote & the field CAD I made (or adapt them to better suit what you need).

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Thank you! I will definetely consider.

Beach Blitz

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@anonymous_7476 While the top tier spots of the CADathon generally are dominated by experienced designers/CADers, you are welcome to make the CADathon whatever you want it to be.

Whether you want to just design a single mechanism, or design a simple robot with only a couple elements, that’s totally up to you. The judges will still give you detailed feedback on whatever you submit. The rankings really only matter for said “experienced CADers/designers”, what’s much more important and actually useful is the feedback that you can use to practice and improve your skills.

So I encourage you to still participate even if you don’t feel like you can compete to be top ranked, because that really isn’t the point of it. Ranks mean basically nothing, it is just a number lol.


this I can confirm, I am by no means the best designer out there, there are teams that are much more proficient than us out there. Yet even when we’re just having fun and coming up with ideas that won’t work in “real FRC” we still continue to rank high, we just won the most creative award at Chezy CAD less than 2 hours ago as I’m writing this. my advice is to have fun and not take your self too seriously. most of the time when the judges see our designs they say “what?”, because it is usually the exact wrong thing you should do but we make it work somehow.

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