Engineering Notebooks

Looking for some suggestions to organize, include and keep it current. My teams put this off and do not work to keep the notebook in line with robots construction. Any ideas, examples and outlines would be appreciated.

We have posted our design notebook from last season here on the VEX forum. You may find it useful to look at. Keep in mind that not all teams go quite as in depth as we do, but anything that you can get documented (sketches, CADs, charts, thought processes) will really help your design process. Hope this helps!

This is what we do:

Recap of previous year
History of program
Any other creations built with vex after worlds

define our objective and out constraints, and deadlines (competitions)
list of concepts, and the pros/cons of each one
prototypes of the concept that we chose, and data from testing to support if it will work (ex: enough torque to lift the arm)
CAD models of our design
picture of the robot, a list of modifications, and how we did at every competition

our current code listed (and nicely commented), and a change log documenting how our code changed during the season

community outreach we have done

Biographies of team

I would add a caveat to the whole code thing.

Don’t list every revision that you make. There’s no point. No one wants to see a thousand examples of you trying things that don’t work. They aren’t going to read it, anyway. Put in the finished product, and have a page between competitions describing any changes that were made between the last competition and this one. Highlight the appropriate sections, so that the judges can see what you did.

Anything else, and you end up with a book that’s 300+ pages of code.