This has come up before, in fact I think I suggested both of these a year or two ago but back then lots of suggestions were good ideas, and you guys have made great progress in that time. So I’m sort of throwing these ideas back into the hat if you will.
I would very much so like to see the following new metal products:
1x3x1 aluminum (and/or steel) C-channel.
1x2x1 channel is great for many things, we all love it, but motors can only mount sideways on it. So when we need to mount motors upright on say a drive we are forced to upgrade to the 1x5x1 channel which is oversized for the job in most cases. having 1x3x1 channel would be great for drivetrains and arms, gearboxes and the like.
30 degree and 60 degree gussets
Similar to the 45 degree (and 90 degree) gussets currently available. These would be useful for more unique framing, in the design of so called “Kiwi” drives and in many manipulator designs.
They won’t make that large of a plate. They already offer 30x15 and honestly part of this competition is being creative with the parts. Also, if you need that large of a plate you can use your non-shattering plastic AKA polycarb, lexan, etc. up to 12"x24"x.070" (<R7>f)
Also, if you want to make the 15 tooth tank tread sprocket you could mill off some of the hub on each side. You can’t put holes into it very well as the walls are pretty thin, but at that point you can probably make a 12 or 18 tooth high strength sprocket work with your ratios and design.
Finally why do you need a 5 hole bearing block? What’s stopping you from putting two next to each other? Or some other creative way?
Also I completely agree with Cody. Many times when using the 1x5x1 Channel it feels like overkill but the 1x2x1 just won’t get it done. One time I actually considered taking a 1x5x1 and re-bending it so it would be 1x3x2x1, and then cut off the extra to make it 1x3x1 because of space limitations. But it wasn’t worth the time and things got changed.
Oh and that’s what pillow blocks can be used for if you use them on a 1x2x1 channel you can mount motors that way… it also ends up being lighter. The only trick is lining up the pillow blocks perfectly. Which you could make some sort of jig to do or just from trial and error … it may not be as structurally sound using pillows. But I used them on my drive and they worked perfectly!
I’m not sure if I would use pillows on a gear tower or not but actually it would make it easier to replace any of the gears on it…
By cutting down the metal it would be a waste of those 2 holes worth of c-channel, whereas connecting two bearings you are not wasting anything.
I agree about a 1x3x1 C-Channel. 1x5x1 is a bit to much at times while 1x2x1 is too small. I predict that 1x3x1 would be bought a lot if they released it. With no major releases besides VEX IQ at worlds I think that they are going to release a pretty good product like the 1x3x1 C-Channel idea. VEX has something good to release in the upcoming season I’m sure.