Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

Self-Centering Screw


Entry ID #: 7571
Created: Sun, Jan 12, 2020 12:17 AM

What problem are we solving? We realized that many teams, including our own, spend significant amounts of time trying to align and center pieces. This is because VEX screws have a diameter slightly smaller than the size of the holes in metal components, allowing for play. Being able to center pieces is important to increase the precision of built components and to avoid unnecessary issues (eg. a bent drivebase causing the robot to not drive straight) What is our solution? We designed a self-centering screw, which has a lip under the screw head and threading below the lip. This lip would fit perfectly into a hole on a VEX metal component, so that it touches all four sides and eliminates any play. The lip would either be 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch long, for one and two pieces of metal respectively.  How did we develop our solution? We followed a thorough design process where we evaluated the problem, brainstormed ideas, sketched our ideas on paper, drew them in CAD software (Autodesk Inventor Professional 2020), re-evaluated our requirements, and 3D-printed the part. Throughout this innovative and educational process, we consulted with builders and took advantage of the Autodesk Inventor CAD software. Please check out our final report (pdf) for a more thorough explanation of our self-centering screw solution and cool visuals!

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