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

Versatile Turntable


Entry ID #: 3946
Created: Wed, Jan 11, 2017 8:36 PM

Turntables allow robots to move their parts in a smooth, circular motion with ease. This mechanism’s ability to move a component by 360 degrees can be used for both small and large components of a robot. When being applied to a large component however, the turntable must have superb stability to keep the robot in balance. The included large VEX turntable was not optimal for supporting large components, so we decided to create a modification of this design to allow for more stability. Our design of the turntable fits to our robot just as the former VEX turntable did, but with more connection points. Our robot has a large shooting mechanism at the center, and this component rests on the turntable which allows it to rotate toward the opposing field from anywhere on the field. The original VEX turntable had a round form-factor, and although it was compact, it only allowed for two points of connection with the c-channel that it rested on. Having only two screw connections with the chassis of the robot made the shooting system quite unstable. The shooting system deals with a lot of abrupt and powerful motion, so an unstable turntable was a problem. In our robot, we first combated this problem by creating supports on the four sides of the shooter system so that when the shooter was in motion, it wouldn’t lean significantly towards a side. Our turntable design eliminated the need for these support platforms as the turntable itself is very stable. By making the outer shell of the turnable rectangular, we were able to multiply possible connection points, which allowed for more rigidity when being attached to the chassis. The rectangular shape also fits better with the rest of the VEX parts compared to the former circular design as most of them consist of rectangular shapes and right angles. Another benefit of this design is that the main alterations were made only on the outer shell of the turntable. The other components such as the spindle gear and the motor attachment mechanisms are identical to the original VEX designed turntable, so those parts can be seamlessly integrated into this design. This eliminated the need to completely remanufacture all parts of this turntable. We used Fusion 360 version 2.0.2604 to create this design. We used tools within the “create” tab in the program, as well as parts form the VEX turntable. We combined our original designs with official VEX parts to maximize compatibility. This project taught us how we could improve even official VEX components to better suit our robot’s needs. We would love to continue using Fusion 360 in the future as it allows for so many design ideas to be created. CAD design is widely used by professionals, so being able to work with such a program has been immensely helpful in getting a glimpse of what it is like to work in the engineering world.

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