Engineering Notebooks

Hey guys,

So Nothing But Net is my first season in VEX. It was a great experience for me, and I look forward to next year. One thing that my team didn’t have this year, which we are hoping for next year, is an engineering notebook. We wish to be considered for Design and Excellence awards at competitions.

I don’t really know how to set an engineering notebook out. I also do not know what should be included in the notebook to make it Design/Excellence award worthy.

Can somebody please kindly inform me on what needs to be included, and give me any tips on what makes a good notebook, how to lay it out, etc.


Some older threads on the same subject:

In our notebooks it’s mostly notes on a day to day basis. A goal for the day, what happened, what we need to do, as well as some other stuff like swot analysis and design choices. Take a look at the Vex official document on the design award for more specifics.

Our team began keeping an engineering notebook this year. I may be able to post pictures upon request. Things that we did (which we’d been told to do by design award recipients) were:
Use consistent format day to day
Document all changes and who performed the change
Table of contents
Design sketches
Autodesk inventor 3D designs
All relevant code
Date each page
Team profile page
Personalize it/make it interesting
That’s all the advice I can currently give.

Thanks so much!

Do you type yours, or is it handwritten?

Ours is handwritten, save for all the code of course.

This was really helpful for my team.
VRC Design Award Rubric

Some things that are important to include in your notebook and presentation are:
-to follow the design process (Challenge?, brainstorm, select approach, prototype, test, modify…)
-have very good, detailed drawings of every part of your robot
-attach your robot code to the notebook and make sure that it is explained
-show your modifications to the robot, and have drawings of each modification
-have your robot 3D designed (judges LOVE that!)
-when you have your interview, make sure everyone talks, and not just one person
-explain your brainstorming ideas before you built a robot and also explain why you chose your current design over the other ideas

Our team uses Google Drive so everyone can work on it at home. One of the most important parts of doing a notebook is to make your log is REALLY good! Go into great detail about mechanical changes, programming changes, and other things done in the meeting.