Computer Aided Design lets us figure out how to build our robot, including what parts we might buy off-the-shelf, instructions on how to make the parts we can’t, and what it will take to put it all together.
While many of us want to immediately grab a wrench and start building a robot, those who take the time to come up with a proper plan will usually have a better bot in the end.
CAD members need to be comfortable working on computers with sophisticated programs, ‘seeing’ things in three dimensions as they create and assemble things on their screen, interact with other members of the team, be willing to have others critique their work, and solid math skills don’t hurt.
CAD members are also the first to start in on the robot and need to work quickly so the rest of the team will know what to do and get parts in on time.
Working closely with the mechanical design / build part of the team, CAD helps figure out just what the parts need to be to do what we want them to do.
Our team uses Autodesk Inventor which helps sponsor ours, and many other, FIRST teams.
The tricky parts we can’t make are machined by our premier sponsor Viper Northwest. They’ve been a solid supporter over the years, and we are always excited to see their parts come in!
Here’s a closeup of the team’s hard work: