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3CC, Connecting Pieces in a Whole New Way

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SKCreations
Entry ID #: 4981
Created: Tue, Jan 9, 2018 8:23 PM


3CC, Connecting Pieces in a Whole New Way Submitted by: 85129, SKCreations Using TinkerCAD, we created a three-sided cube connector we have named, 3CC. (See image 1 for a picture of 3CC that we had 3D printed.) We have often been frustrated by the limits of the single-faced connectors that are currently available. When building our most recent robot for the Ringmaster competition, we had difficulty connecting the drive train and we needed to use several different connectors. (See Image 2 of our robot using single-sided connectors.) It was through this process that we developed the idea for 3CC. We wanted to create a single connector that was three sided, with 12 holes that could be used to attach components to each side. (See image 3. This shows our current robot using 3CC to support the drive train.) The existing single-faced connectors are limited to connecting single pieces. (See Image 4. A comparison of some existing single-sided connectors and our creation, 3CC.) We also wanted to have a three-sided cube because it would increase the strength of the connection. We have found that 3CC also allows you to use connectors in corners, where you couldn’t before with corner connectors that had only one side filled with holes.   TinkerCAD We used TinkerCAD because of the simplicity of the program as well as the piece. There were no complicated parts of the design that required the angles or lengths to be special.  We changed the measurements to be in inches because the VEX IQ pieces are measured in imperial measurements. The piece was created using the box option. We made the piece solid and used the cube option again to cut a section out of the original cube leaving the corner piece. We finally added holes using the cylinder holes and placed them in the correct locations. When everything was grouped together, the piece was fully modeled.     Conclusion We have often had frustrating moments building our robots because the piece we needed didn’t seem to be available. Through this project we were able to identify a problem, design a solution, 3D print our project and watch our idea actually work. It was thrilling. We had never used 3D design software before so we needed to learn how to use TinkerCAD, which took some time but was fairly easy to understand. We were lucky to be able to 3D print several versions of 3CC to test on our robot to make sure it worked the way we wanted it to.  We will continue to use 3D design software whenever we need to build custom pieces for competition. We are also looking forward to learning how to use Autodesk and Inventor in our future designs. We are 12 years old and we both want to be engineers so we are very excited about identifying an engineering problem and designing a solution.

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