The Autodesk

Anyone else building their robot on autodesk, or autoCAD, because I haven’t seen anything about anybody else on auto___. I was just wondering.

Working on it.

We plan on completely cadding our robot before any serious building (protyping not included).

The most commonly used tool is Autodesk Inventor, because you can do better 3D assemblies with the libraries of VEX parts.

I have already completed two full designs on Autodesk, but it has been extremely time consuming. I am not planning on sharing either, at least for now. At least with these CAD designs, we can quickly and efficiently build our bots.

Autodesk is a pretty useful tool (though my skills in this field are lacking :P). Our team last year used Autodesk as a precursor to building the various subsystems, and this ensured that we maintained the standard of “good build quality”, since we already knew exactly how each part was designed to attach to the others.

I understand that prototypes and first builds are often too temperamental and short-term in nature to justify a full Autodesk model, but from personal experience I would strongly recommend Autodesk if you have the time.

We use Autodesk every year extensively at the start of the season. It really helps me to visualize how much room we have and how things might realistically fit together before hacking up metal. To be effective though, prototyping needs to come hand and hand with CAD. CAD lets you know if it fits, but it won’t tell you if it works.

I have been meaning to learn how to use inventor for this purpose. Is there any good tutorials or guides you guys could point me to that would help? I have a decent understanding of AutoCAD but so far inventor is still a mystery.

This is probably the most complete tutorial of Inventor for the use of Vex. You could easily start prototyping your robot after a day or 2 of these videos. Also, you can skip directly to unit 4.3 .%between%

Yep, I am working on it right now actually :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve got our launcher and drive pretty much done as far as it goes for the “build” part of it.

Hello all,

I’m looking to start with Inventor myself and then roll it out to our teams to start using. At the moment I can get any version from 2014 to 2017 free from Autodesk. Any suggestions on which version would be best to start with?

Doesn’t matter. They all have the same basic functions, but the higher the year you get, the slower it may function, depending on how much RAM you have. Look into the computer requirements before you download any software.

I am actually finding solidworks much more intuitive to use, it does however require a little more work when mating parts, but it’s worth it in the end.
I am currently designing the entire robot in solidworks to make it all fit together perfectly, then tweaking it to work properly later.

Have you seen the modified parts available on the VEX Team Virus web page (or on 3d Content Central)? The parts have a small cylindrical feature added to each hole, so you can use concentric mates on the square holes. There are matching drive shafts with a “full cylindrical round” on the corners which will concentric mate as well.

I recomend you to use Inventor pro, there is a Vex library!

Get 2014. It’s what most of the libraries are meant for, and it also has low enough requirements to run on just about anything. 2017 requires higher specs which are adjusted for modern day workstations, while 2014 was adjusted for that time.

Yes I have been using that and also using a library from @pwnageNick which has gears and everything else and adding those cylindrical extrusions to the square holes too.

Just an update, I will probably be overhauling my library sometime over the next month or two. This will include adding all new parts not currently in the library, trying to add as many of the old discontinued parts (as they are still legal for use), correcting materials (for example specifically using 5052-H32 for Aluminum sheet parts as that seems to be what most of their AL sheet seems to be made of). In the past I just used generic Steel and Aluminum materials (1020 Steel, 6061 Aluminum, etc.). The goal is to get the properties and finishes as close as possible on all parts. Where it is published, I will also be overwriting mass values to match what VEX publishes online. I will also be reorganizing folders to be more intuitive then I already have it.

It’s going to take me a bit of time, and I am waiting to get access to the network I’ll be working on it so it will be a month or two.

Also a general comment about using VEX parts in SW, Inventor, etc:

I highly suggest using proper mate methods rather than adding circular features or sketches. Using a width mate on the two sides of the square holes is the correct method in this application, and will get you more used to how to properly do things, which is important in the professional world. On top of that, adding unnecessary features will slow down the performance of the program.

There are also video tutorials in the software itself when you download it. They provide an overview of a lot of the basics of Inventor.