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Greenville, TX – December 21, 2015 – One of the more seasoned and experienced teams in the VEX Robotics Competition, VEXcalibur—Team 3018V from Council Bluffs, Iowa—has participated for the past four years in the middle school division. The team began because Jason Plummer’s youngest son was too young to participate on the high school robotics team, where his older brother and sister were members. The team focused on designing, building, and programming their robots in their first year of competition and began participating in the Online Challenges the following year. The team regularly breaks off in pairs to pursue a variety of the challenges and finished in second place for their submission to 2015 CAD Challenge, “Wire Clip, Take 2.”
“The entire team was excited about the CAD challenge and the idea of creating a new part. The whole team helped brainstorm ideas for new parts that they would like to see and use, and the team members working on the CAD Challenge took those ideas and decided to pursue the wire clip,” said Plummer.
The students were new to CAD and approached the project with the intent of making something simple but useful. To design the wire clip, they used Autodesk Inventor and found the software easy to use and they liked the formatting options. Importing VEX part files was a snap and enabled the students to build a sample robot and allowed them to easily demonstrate how to use the new device they created.
“Fortunately, the team also has an adult mentor and team parent who was experienced in CAD,” Plummer continued. “He was willing to teach the students how to use the program and was available when they had questions or needed help.”
When they completed their drawing for the CAD Challenge, they worked with a local company to make a 3D-print of the wire clip. “The team was thrilled to see a functional prototype of their design and it helped them understand how the CAD design process is applied to robotics,” said Plummer. “We were glad to see Autodesk add this to the challenge for this year.”
This season VEXcaliber is hard at work on their robot. The team took home the Design Award at November’s Southern Iowa VEX Qualifier, and with a few early wins they are hoping to qualify for VEX Worlds, which would be their first trip as a team. Join us in wishing them well!
Teams this season are invited to enter the Make It Real CAD Engineering Challenge, sponsored by Autodesk, this season for an opportunity to focus your passion for CAD to solve a real world design issue and engineer your own robotics part!