Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

750R - Adjustable T-Bearing


Entry ID #: 6148
Created: Mon, Jan 14, 2019 8:06 PM

Brief Introduction: While designing and building our robot for the 2018-2019 season, Team 750R ran into a problem that we believed could be solved by creating a new part. For the Turning Point game, we built an angle adjuster to expand the capabilities of our linear puncher. While building the adjuster, we realized that if we wanted to have the shooter pivot freely, we would need to have a hinge that could both attach a vertical C-channel to a horizontal C-channel and have the latter pivot to make itself parallel to the former. To resolve this problem, we attached a pillow block bearing to a standard bearing flat using a screw and nut. However, our solution seemed too crude for a finished robot, and so we turned to Autodesk and CAD for a more polished solution. Thus, we conceived of the Adjustable T-Bearing, or ATB, a t-shaped bearing that could attach two pieces of metal with perpendicular orientations and allow smooth pivoting of the resultant joint.   Part Usage and Explanation: The ATB consists of two arms, the Vertical Arm and the Horizontal Arm. In the case of our prototype, the pillow block bearing is the Vertical Arm and the bearing flat is the Horizontal Arm because the pillow block would attach to the vertical C-channel and the flat would attach to the horizontal C-channel. Essentially, the ATB is a class-2 lever, with the pivot point as the fulcrum and the Horizontal Arm as the load arm. The part itself can be used in a multitude of ways, depending on your robot’s needs. The ATB can be used to replace single-point joints, and the additional points of connection from the extra holes in the arms allow for better structural integrity. Also, the joint is specifically designed for two pieces of metal to transition from a parallel, side-by-side configuration to a perpendicular configuration but also keep the joint a free pivot; this can be used in cases where you need a motor to quickly raise and lower a C-channel in one swift motion. For example, if your robot should need a one-bar to flip caps on the ground in Turning Point, a quick pulse from the motor would jerk the one-bar upwards, and the ATB would allow the metal to return to its initial position smoothly without using the motor again. These are just two simple usage cases for the ATB, but there are many more ways to adapt it to better suit your robot.   CAD Design Process: After we created the prototype, we decided to use Fusion 360 to create the finished product, as it was the version of Autodesk we had the most experience with. We started out by analyzing an actual VEX bearing flat and noting the shapes and thickness of the object. We decided that it would be best to make our adjustable bearing a little thinner, so that we could save on material costs if we could obtain access to a 3D-printer and print the part ourselves. After we examined a VEX pillow block bearing in a similar manner, we came to the same conclusion regarding thickness. Then, we recreated the two parts according to our specifications in CAD, reshaping a cylinder into an octagonal shape and using that as a basic unit for creating both the flat and the pillow block. The three holes in both the pillow and flat bearing were then added to the octagonal prisms by drawing out a circle and extending it through the middle of the prisms to get a completely hollowed out center. We downloaded the screw and the nylock onto Fusion and then we modified the size and shape to fit our invention. Lastly, after creating the two bearings and the screw and nylock, we fit them all together precisely to get a one-of-a-kind component.   Brief Conclusion: The Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge was a very useful exercise for our team, as it showed us the power of CAD when it comes to creating solutions for our problems. For any given problem, a rudimentary solution likely exists, but there is always a better one that can be found if enough effort is given. In this case, the solution came with the use of CAD, which allowed us to actually visualize our concept before putting it into practice. Going forwards, Team 750R will definitely be using 3D design software, both before and during our design process. While 3D modeling before building will allow us to better and more efficiently plan our robot, modeling during the building process, i.e. using modeling as a tool to test and refine our design, will truly bring our robotics team to another level in both competitions and knowledge. Furthermore, in this exercise, several of our team members recognized knowledge of CAD as an essential skill in their careers. One member, who plans on going into the aerospace industry after college, believes that he can use the software as a way to outline and illustrate his designs for colleagues. Another member, interested in computer science, will use the CAD software as a representation of the robot before its creation, allowing her more time to design, write, and test code. Overall, the project has given our team a chance to grow as engineers and to learn a useful skill, a skill that we will be sure to use more and more in the days to come.

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