Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
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Wire Hook CAD Design

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jpagano
Entry ID #: 8568
Created: Mon, Dec 7, 2020 10:51 AM


We wanted to create a part that interacted with a wide variety of robots, something applicable to any design. We wanted something that didn’t intrinsically depend on a specific robot design for niche use cases. This design isn’t tied to a precise situation; it works anywhere. 

Rather than solving a small niche issue, we decided to create a piece that tackled a recurring issue for us: zip ties. Wire management for VEX is limited to these plastic monstrosities, which are disposable, and single use. They aren’t environmentally conscious, and are hard to adjust without removing entirely. The only way to remove them is to cut them off. 

We propose a different solution; a wire hook. A space efficient design, akin to a zip tie, but reusable. It attaches to the structure elements of the robot with standard VEX screws, and holds up 5 wires each. All you do to remove the wire hook is unscrew the bolt holding onto it. This avoids the need for single use plastic ties, and it ultimately creates less waste. If this was implemented as a widespread solution, VEX robotics would be more sustainable. This solution also makes it much easier to understand what functions attach to others, making it possible to group different wire systems for organizational purposes.

There will be two different wire hook types, a straight hook and an angle hook. The straight hook has a smaller profile, making it optimal for smaller robots or cramped sections in larger ones. The angle hook sticks out of the robot, making it easier to use and manage than the straight hook, optimal for larger robots. We used Fusion 360, version 2.0.9313, to create our wire hooks.

Our biggest challenge with this project was designing something new. There was no blueprint to follow; we had to make the blueprint. We never thought it would be so challenging—yet rewarding—to spend hours upon hours putting an idea from our brain into the world. Iteration is so satisfying to get right, and the hard work put in, especially when you have to slowly struggle to figure out the right solution, is well worth the time. CAD design is an incredibly useful tool that we will definitely use for future projects.

Another aspect of this project that we learned to work through, was that it was done during a pandemic, with the students involved working remotely. We have a huge appreciation for the coordination required for global businesses to operate. It’s so hard to work efficiently when people are in different places. With all of the required pieces of the puzzle scattered in different spots, we had to adapt to a different environment. With multiple projects being worked on by different teams, We learned how to work in a world where we are all separated by both space and time. 

This entire project was a lovely creative endeavor, and we learned a lot from it.

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