Drivetrain C-channel orientation

When my team was designing and building our drivetrain, we were curious what the ideal orientation of the c-channels is. We built it with them being ] ] [ [ but are wondering what’s the best.

- Henry 344E
also yay, cake day

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The inner 2 c chanels should always have their flanges facing towards the center of the bot to allow your drive motors to take up less space in the middle of your robot. With your current drivetrain I would switch to ] [. The orientation of the outer c channels matters much less.


“Best” is a relative word.

If it means easiest to build, the outside pieces should open outward/smooth side inward.

It’s more or less agreed that the inside pieces should be turned to keep the drive “pods” (side pieces) as narrow as possible to save interior space.

If ‘best’ means a) less likely to damage your metal, creating sharp edges b) less likely to damage metal which will save money c) less likely to damage metal so robot won’t get hung on other bots d) stronger in impacts with other bots… then turn your outside pieces flat side OUTWARD. The flat smooth side is MUCH harder to bend/damage than if the situation is reversed.

In any case, I STRONGLY recommend getting a pair of these. They will speed assembly more than any other single tool you can buy.

These are top quality from Amazon… from an actual surgical supply manufacturer, but you can also buy cheaper ones also.

You want a length about the same as these, approx 6 inches and a nice narrow tip.



That does make sense… Thanks a lot!

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I did a poll a while back. Personally, I find ][ to be the easiest to work with but [] slightly more space efficient.


Our team decided we would go with so that we could have smooth edges on the outside to protect the wheels. Also, it looks very clean.


Would recommend either ][ ][ (gives easier access to inner channels for mounting things from) or [[ ]] (looks nicer, technically saves 1/16" space).

If the inner drive channels face flat-side-in, then you end up wasting space on motor mounting.