When it comes to building robots, there’s a lot on the market today. So much of
what you need can be ordered with
little to no hassle. That being said,
when building a robot you may come
across specific parts or assemblies
where you can’t order it and don’t
have the equipment or resources to
do it yourself.
This isn’t a huge barrier though,
because in addition to potentially
working with local shops to get
custom parts made, there are a lot of
good options for custom combat
robot parts to be found online.
Team Tiki Robotics
Major Equipment: CNC Mill
Team Tiki is a small outfit that has
only recently started offering
machining services to the robot
combat community. The relatively
small equipment list means that Team
Tiki won’t always be able to make the
parts you’re looking for, but if it’s
something they can make you can be
sure you’ll be getting high quality
parts at good prices.
Beyond custom machined parts,
Team Tiki is also the primary US
distributor for BotBitz ESCs and their
own Beetleweight sized gearmotors.
Team Whyachi Bot Shop
Major Equipment: CNC Mill, Lathe,
Waterjet, and Welding
The Team Whyachi Bot Shop is
effectively a one-stop place for high-end fabrication. They’ve got the
equipment and abilities to make
almost any part you could realistically
want for your robot. One downside is
they don’t quote pricing, so you’ll
need to know what you’re asking
them for or else you may be in for a
surprise when you get sent the bill.
That being said, if you’ve got complex
parts, the Team Whyachi Bot Shop
is likely to be your best option.
In addition to their machining
services, Team Whyachi also sells
high quality gearboxes, wheels,
and power switches.
Big Blue Saw
Major Equipment: Waterjet and
Big Blue Saw does a few
specific things and it does them
very well. If you need parts with a
two-dimensional profile cut out of
a wide range of
materials and you
don’t want to wait to
find out what it will
cost you, they’re the
place to get them. The
best thing about Big
Blue Saw is that they
offer instant quotes for
a huge range of stock
materials, so you’re not stuck waiting
and wondering what you’ve just
spent. If the material or thickness you
want isn’t in stock, you can contact
them directly for pricing.
One thing to keep in mind if
you’re trying to keep costs down, with
waterjet cutting, setup time is a big
part of the cost on small part runs.
Reducing the number of different
sheets of material your parts need to
be cut from can dramatically reduce
the per-part cost of your machine.
Major Equipment: Huge range of
eMachineShop functions similarly
to Big Blue Saw in that you can
quickly get pricing on a range of
custom parts. eMachineShop has their
own free CAD program which is used
for modelling and quoting 2D or 3D
parts. eMachineShop isn’t likely to be
the cheapest option on the market,
but it’s a good way to get parts made
without any guesswork on what
they’ll cost you.
Major Equipment: 3D Printing
3D printed components have
become very popular in the small bot
SERVO 02.2018 25
Shaped titanium wedge, magnesium top
plate, and 6061 frame all fabricated by
from 1/2” thick
Big Blue Saw.
Steel weapons for an Antweight made by Team Tiki.