Archive for the ‘ FRC ’ Category

Lab Floor Painting & Cleaning

Today, more team members met at the NASA lab to apply a second coat of paint to the floor on the upstairs mezzanine.  The newly painted surface looks great and we will move the furniture upstairs tomorrow once the paint dries.  Furthermore, we mopped and vacuumed the floor downstairs and organized the tool chest, the white shelves and the cabinet in the machine shop.

Lab Floor Painting

Today, several team members met at the NASA lab to paint the floor of the upstairs mezzanine.  Two weeks ago, we sanded the floor to remove the chipping paint and last week new paint was able to be purchased.  To prevent chipping, we are using a urethane-based industrial paint.  Tomorrow, we will meet again to apply a second coat of paint.

Programming Update

We had a meeting on Thursday at Bellarmine, in which we covered a lot. By this week’s meeting, we will have finalized the programming team’s organization into the two groups, and everyone will have their assignments. We have split the team into two groups, one working primarily on the simulator that Dmitriy developed, and another on the actual robot. This Friday, most of the programming team met at the lab to work on the robot, which was a pretty successful meeting. We were able to play around and experiment with the various capabilities of the robot, and we were able to create and execute a simple autonomous program. We have 5 people who are interested in being full-time programmers, which is a good number for the programming team.

FRC Build Update

Friday the 10th marked our third and final CAD Friday and our final FRC Friday of the semester.  We had a great time and started to explore some of the more advanced assembly and sketch features of SolidWorks.  Although it would have been nice to have more time so that we could have gone into more depth and gone over more features of SolidWorks, we had a great opportunity to give many students a broad overview of the program.  Overall, I think that the FRC Friday program this semester was very successful and I hope we try something similar again in future years.

Today, we had our second Machine Tools Training of the semester with two more students getting trained on how to use the machine tools at the lab.  For reference, I’ve put up a list of the students who are trained here.  If you would like to sign up for machine tools training in the coming weeks, sign ups are here.

As the semester wraps to a close, we have very little time left to get everything ready for the FRC season.  We have scheduled Open Lab time for December 20-23.  Please sign up for this time here and come in if you are interested in working on Programming, CAD or just helping get the lab ready for build.  There are no space limitations but if nobody signs up, we will likely cancel the session and the lab won’t be open 🙁  There are still numerous items on the lab to-do list that need to get done and we need as much help as we can get.  Let me know if you have any questions for this.

Remember, students interested in CAD and programming: Coming to the workshops alone is not enough to become a CAD or Programming master.  To gain all the skills neccesary for the robot work, you will have to put in some extra time outside of the workshops.  Coming to the open lab days (mentioned above) is an excellent opportunity to get the much-needed experience with CAD or Programming.

26 Days Until The 2011 FRC Season Begins!
Happy Holidays and Go Poofs!
Nick Eyre

First CAD Friday

Today was Team 254’s first of three CAD Fridays. After a fun team lunch, we had over twenty team members come together at the NASA lab to learn CAD skills.

We started out with an introduction to SolidWorks and went into some of the skills used in basic extruded features and sketches. We discussed sketch relations and dimensioning and made several simple parts.

Later, Travis gave a presentation on the Fundamentals of Graphic Communication, which can be found here. The presentation was long, but went very well and was extremely informative. All who attended were able to learn about expressing three dimensional objects in two dimensions through engineering drawings as well as other valuable graphic communcation skills. Travis even showed the team one of his parts from his work and showed how many drawing views needed to be used to effectively communicate the part’s design.

After the presentation and dinner, we worked to develop our CAD skills by analyzing a pre-made engineering drawings and creating 3D CAD models of the parts based on the drawings. It was a good excercise for using the graphic communication skills we learned and applying them to actual design.

After the CAD was wrapped up, several team members stayed late at the lab and built shelves upstairs that can be used by our team and by team 1868 for storing and displaying our trophies and awards.

At the next CAD Friday (12/3), we will split into two teams and work on a design project, using SolidWorks to model our different solutions to the design challenge which will be announced. It should be a great way to continue to learn CAD skills through practice and problem solving.

Catapults, T-Shirt Cannon Underglow, CAD Seminar & More


Today, at the NASA Lab, we had a large group of students meeting for FRC Friday.  This week, to apply some of the tools usage and mechanical skills that were learned in previous workshops, we split into two mini-teams and had a catapult-building competition, which was to be judged on distance launched and awesomeness (measured on a scale from one to awesome).

The two teams took radically different approaches to the challenge.  One team decided to build their catapult entirely out of metal and constructed it mostly out Kitbot parts from previous FRC Kits of Parts.  The other team decided to use Wood and PVC.  After a bit of tweaking, the metal catapult was functional and was flinging Orbit Balls across the lab.  The wooden catapult, on the other hand, did not have a stable base, and broke after being stressed heavily by the surgical tubing which powered it.  After the team made modifications and strengthened their design, they had several successful launches.


On another note, we installed Blue LED strips to the bottom of the T-Shirt cannon to give it an underglow effect.  The strips were chosen over neon tubes for budgetary reasons.  After installed and wired, the lights looked great!

CAD Seminar

As a reminder, next week will be the beginning of our three week long CAD seminar.  We will be meeting for three FRC Fridays (no FRC friday during Thanksgiving week) to learn CAD and work on a project (you’ll find out the project if you participate).  Remember to sign up on the team website.

This Week in FRC: More Workshops

On Friday, numerous Cheesy Poofs met for our second week of the 2010 FRC workshops.  We had a huge turnout of people from 254 and 1868.  All three workshops went great.

Next Friday will mark the start of our 3-week long CAD Seminar, where we will be working in groups to learn CAD skills while working on a super awesome project (to be announced) =D.

Also, we’re starting to organize machine tools training.  Be sure to fill out the form on the event signups page if you’re interested.  More details will come ASAP.