FTC:CAD

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Computer Aided Design (CAD) is an important part of FIRST Tech Challenge. Teams are able to create custom parts and generate designs for their robot using CAD. There are several different CAD software applications teams can use. The two main uses for CAD in FTC are: creating custom parts and creating a CAD drawing of a team’s robot.

Custom Parts

Teams use CAD to create custom parts for their robot. Custom parts allow for greater versatility in their design. They are able to be made to fit the robot and challenge in a particular FTC season. Custom parts also let teams be more creative in their designs. This can lead to more efficient and reliable designs.

FTCCAD-Motor-Mount.png

Robot CAD

Teams also use CAD to create CAD drawings of their robot. Robot CAD drawings are helpful because they allow teams to plan their robot before creating it in real life. When creating custom parts, teams are able to get precise measurements from their CAD drawings. Teams are also able to simulate their robot. Simulations help teams improve their robot and custom parts by showing stress on parts. Teams are also able to show their robot subsystems moving to see how they act and if they collide with any other parts.

FTCCAD-Robot.PNG

CAD Software

There are many different CAD programs available, here are some examples.

Onshape

Onshape is a web based CAD program that allows people to easily share and edit documents. Teams can use Onshape to create assemblies and parts. The UI and controls are intuitive and it doesn’t require any downloads to use. Teams can sign up by filling out an application. Here is a video created by Spontaneous Construction that goes over the basics of Onshape. Onshape is a good software for FTC teams to learn first because it is easy to learn and provides a good foundation to learn from.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Doesn’t require download
  • Allows for easy sharing of CAD documents

Cons

  • Can’t create simulations of a robot

FTCCAD-Onshape.PNG

Creo

Creo is an application that is used by professionals. It allows for the easy creation of assemblies and parts and the use of simulations to test robots. Simulations help teams create better parts by showing stress on custom parts. To get access to Creo teams must fill out a form saying that they are a FIRST team.

Pros

  • Allows teams to create simulations
  • Free for FTC teams to use
  • Used by professionals

Cons

  • Has to be downloaded
  • Hard to share documents

FTCCAD-Creo.PNG

Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is capable of creating custom parts and assemblies. It is used by engineers in the industry. Teams are also able to share documents in Fusion 360. Simulations help teams create better parts by showing stress on custom parts. The application is free for FTC teams as long as they fill out a form.

Pros

  • Possible to share documents
  • Used by engineers in the industry
  • Allows teams to create simulations
  • Able to create renders

Cons

  • Requires download

Solidworks

Solidworks is a CAD program that is regularly used in the engineering industry. It is capable of creating assemblies and parts. Solidworks also allows teams to simulate stress on their robot and custom parts. Solidworks is free for FTC teams if they fill out an Solidworks FTC Application saying they are an FTC team.

Pros

  • Possible to share documents
  • Used by engineers in the industry
  • Allows teams to create simulations
  • Can share files through a link

Cons

  • Requires download

Additional Resources

References