So if I want to make gussets out of polycarb do I need a CNC machine for that?
It’s not impossible to do it by hand if you’re willing to really take your time doing all the cuts and holes precisely, but it’s way easier to use a CNC if it’s available.
no. there’s tons of tools available for making poly pieces suitable for vex. my order of preference for the tools id use would probably go something like this: cnc mill or router, manual mill or router, laser cutter (assuming you have a safe setup for cutting plastic. the fumes are pretty dangerous), scroll saw, bandsaw, tin snips, hacksaw (?). Some of the last options would require you to have some way to drill holes. drill press is great for that but a handheld power drill works fine too
if you’re not going the milling/routing route i’d recommend printing a 1:1 scale of the part you’re making and then doing some basic layout and scribing on the plastic to make sure you get the dimensions right
adding on to what ethan said, just by printing and cutting out the gussets in paper and taping/gluing them to the polycarbonate, you can cut out the gussets with at the minimum, just a hacksaw, some tinsnips, and a drill for the holes. it won’t be as pretty as one made with a cnc or laser cutter or even a bandsaw, but it should be functional. the most important thing is that the holes line up, and that the general shape is the same, and you can do that decently with the most basic tools.
This is a design from Dennis on 81K. I made a quick CAD early in the season. It has some cool geometry and is pretty sturdy. I believe Dennis is still using it at this point in the season.
That is quite a very interesting design
I whipped this guy up real quick a few weeks ago. Each corner is 3D printed out of PETG and is connected using C-channel. Came out really sturdy. Unfortunately the odds of me being able to compete with it under current circumstances are decreasing rapidly.
I made this in f360 over the weekend and I’m hoping to cut these out in a couple weeks.