- Follow the Engineering Design Process. It will help you create the best design in the most beneficial way possible.
- Create a weighted objectives table
- Work on realistic designs. A simplistic robot which works all the time might be more beneficial than a complicated robot which has problems. (This can be based on the experience of your team).
- Make your robot symmetrical!
- Frequently use “VEX Forum” as a source to learn about other teams’ engineering design process, and to get inspired for your own robot.
- Always use nylock nuts if you want your robot to be stable.
- Always plan before building. Even a simple sketch might save you a lot of time.
- Do not overtighten your screws or nuts. While you want everything to be stable and reliable, deforming the components can turn into a disadvantage.
- Do not cut metals if it is not really necessary. You can always shorten a metal but there is no turning back after cutting them. Use your resources logically.
- Too tight chains are not a good idea. If your chains are completely rigid, there’s a good chance that they will detach; try to find a reasonable way of attaching the chains.
- Do not rely too much on materials like zip-locks, ropes or rubber bands.
- While building your robot, make sure that every structure is built according to the unit system of the VEX metals, so that you don’t have to worry about aligning the holes.
- Try to build your robot a little smaller than the size limit to not have any problems in the future.
- Omni-Wheels are usually the better choice since they create less friction.
- Be creative, do not limit yourself with the other teams’ designs.
- C channels are more sturdy than L channels. If you want a stable structure, C channels might be the best choice.
- Use both your aluminum and metal pieces. While the aluminum ones are lighter and are a good choice for mechanisms like the chassis, metals are more rigid and can be good choices for structures which will have to carry large masses.
- Do not forget to use high strength shafts. Regular shafts bend more easily and therefore, high strength shafts can be quite useful in certain mechanisms.
- Try to use the wider gears instead of the thin ones. If you do not have the wider gears, placing two thin gears side to side might be a good idea.
- If you need a small gear, rely more on the metal one rather than the plastic one. Due to its minimal size, the small plastic gears can deform very easily.
- Play around with gears. Building an efficient reduction can play a crucial role in your robot design. You can both change the torque and speed of the mechanism.