Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let's Just Build The Thing!

Wrote this for the robotics team website and posted there, but felt it would work here too.

For many members of the robotics team is having to CAD (designing a component in a Computer Aided Design program) a piece before building. "Let's just do it, and then we can CAD", "I want to start fabrication, enough of this". And the worse part, after CADing, the piece is then placed onto the virtual robot to see where best to put it. ARRRGGGGG!

There is a real reason to do this, and at least two members of the team learned this last night, or I think they did, if they were paying attention. The students were working on the design of the robot lifting winch, they did a nice job of getting it done, and then were more than ready to make it, after all we just got a major piece of it delivered yesterday, so why not?.....But....placing the winch onto the frame, we saw that there was only a few hundredths of an inch between it and the frame members, that was a bit close. So, what to do? Simple, reopen the CAD file and change one piece. Nothing wasted, ready to cut Thursday. A little of work ahead saves money and time in the future.

A little lesson learned, not only about building robots, but hopefully about almost anything.

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