I have seen quite a few VEX robots with some kind of panels on them decorated with team logos, team numbers, and sponsors. I was just wondering what the teams used for the panels and how they decorated the panels?
It looked liked they had just used some thin plastic material like Plexiglass or Leaxn for some of the panels, but I wasn’t sure. I was thinking that maybe they printed the team logos and the other stuff out on some kind of a sticker or decal sheet, but I wasn’t sure about that either.
I was hoping someone could offer some suggestions or advise because I would like to add some to my robot.
What you have described there seems to be exactly what these teams do. Cut out a piece of Lexan (which you should be able to buy at Lowes/Home Depot) and print out a sticker to attach to it. You should not need anything thicker than 1/16". make sure to drill out holes to attach it to your robot.
Most schools have a laminating machine, as well copy centers like Staples. All you do is print out anything and they stick it through the machine and it bonds a thin plastic sheet onto each side of the paper. This should normally be more than strong enough for most Vex robots.
Lexan/polycarbonate can work as well, but it’s kind of overkill for Vex-size robots.
I just didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend right now experimenting so I thought that I would just ask. I figured that it was fairly simple to do, but I just didn’t know if anyone used or did anything special to make their panels and decorations.
My friends team used a cheap design service to create the graphics design. It was extremely good looking and cost them only 20 dollars or so. I’ll ask him for the companies name and will then post later.
I like to print logos and stuff out on transparent mailing label stock (you can get it in 8.5x11" sheets)… but I print them out mirrored.
That way when they are pressed on to a piece of lexan or other tough, clear, material you get a smooth outer surface. Mind you, that works great in FRC because most of our FRC robots have a lot of lexan as body panels.
Last year I made up some designs using Paint.net and then my teams mentor took those designs to a local sign printing company. They basically make a plastic/latex “sticker” and apply it to a piece of sheet plastic. We had the option of either something around a milimeter thick or about 3 milimeters thick. We tried both* and the thicker stuff holds up better however the thin stuff if fine as long as you mount it correctly. With the thinner stuff it would bend and buckle unless it was mounted perfectly flat. The thicker stuff didn’t bend or buckle as easily so it ended up looking better. Any weight added was negligable and they also helped make to robot look cleaner. For example wires were not visible and you didn’t see the guts of the robot. Here are some pics of the robots we used the panels on:
A little more background info now, we had to use the thin stuff on the FTC bot since we hadn’t recieved the replacement thick stuff until the night that we left for Atlanta. Now when we went to make our robot for the VRC we found that the panels from our FTC bot fit the VRC bot so we used the thick ones on the VRC bot. I personally really liked the look of the our VRC bot.