CADing in VEX?

I’ve talked to my teams professional CADder in residence (he CADs for our FRC team) about CADing for VEX this year. Now I’m not a CADder or anything, but he insists that CADing in VEX is a lot more difficult because something about the pieces and the constraints or something? I really don’t know what he said.

Does anyone know what he’s talking about, and is there any easy way to get around it, or is CADing in VEX just too much of a pain?


P.S. If he is really adamant that he won’t CAD, I guess I’ll try picking it up for this season, but probably to no avail. pl0x halp CAD noob. (I have solidworks, so there’s that at least)

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Don’t get me started on the stupid orange holes (or IMates as everyone else calls them)

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It’s really not much of a pain if you use Inventor with one of the good part libraries that have iMates support.

Solidworks is just not that well supported by the VEX community, so you will have some great fun just setting up a usable part library in Solidworks file formats (you will have to convert from an Inventor library or the STEP files provided by VEX). Also I’m not sure if Solidworks has something comparable to iMates (it probably does and I just don’t know about it), but you will have to go and set that up manually for every part.

As an astute CADer, /s
I have no idea what any of this means

So are you suggesting he/I use Inventor?
Do you think you could provide some resources for whatever you’re talking about?

This thread should help you with the basics of CAD:

This thread that should help you get up to speed on iMates:

You can simply search the forum for a plethora of Inventor part libraries. Locate one that has iMates already added to the parts in the library, and use it.

Side note: If you wish to use Solidworks since you already have it, there are actually a few VEX libraries available. I have no idea about their quality though.



“TinkerCAD is the only way.”


This paper has lots of info about CAD, including Links to libraries.
CAD for VEX Robotics.pdf (199.4 KB)

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I’ve heard about all this discussion about iMates. I’ve been using Inventor for designing with VEX parts and never once have I actually utilized them. Are they that important to speeding up assembly times? The library i use has them built-in but I just choose not to work with them because they usually make me take longer to properly constrain something.

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iMates are basically pre-applied half-constraints. So, instead of manually constraining everything, you can literally just drag iMates together to make a constraint.

They’re much faster than manual constraining once you get the hang of working with them.


Here is an updated CAD library I made Tower Takeover CAD Models + Updated Parts Library

Are there iMates included?

I’m okay with the occasional use of cad as a verb, but please, CAD stands for Computer Aided Design, so “I’m doing CAD” is much better than “I’m CADding” or “I’m a CADder”

I can do CAD
I did CAD of my robot

People say “I’m cadding” verbally because it’s easier, but in text it’s super clunky and cringe.

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Most of the pieces do, still working on the new parts tho

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CADer: Computer Aided Design-er :slight_smile:

There is a solidworks library made by some previous team if you can dig deep enough to find it

Don’t have to dig too deep, links to lots of different libraries are in this document:. CAD for VEX Robotics.pdf (199.4 KB)

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