Tips and Tricks for Building

Take a look at the following tips and tricks so that you can quickly become a master builder with the REV 15mm Build System.

Snug, Not Stuck!

When tightening a screw, firm will do. Do not keep tightening until the screw can no longer turn because this can damage structure, actuators, and eventually the screw itself. Simply secure the screw to the point that the pressure is firm.

Bracket Ribs Should Face the Extrusion Slot

The side with the small ribs will always face towards the extrusion when assembling, so that the ribs can help square the bracket to the extrusion.

For information on alignment ribs and the differences between plastic and metal brackets check out the information page on brackets

Pre-Load Brackets With Screws

When securing a bracket to extrusion it is recommended to pre-load the bracket with screws. When the screws are loaded on the bracket before it is even brought near the extrusion, it is less likely that screws will fall out or get misaligned. The bracket can then be slid into place along the slot.

Studs Should Be Up

Building “stud up” is recommended with the REV Robotics 15mm Build System. This means building with the screw head inside of the extrusion. Pay attention to the direction that screws go into the brackets, only the screw head will fit in the extrusion.

Nut Direction Matters

When using the nyloc nuts, make sure the beveled “nyloc” side is facing out.

Plan Ahead!

Have a plan for where the brackets and other structure pieces will go before building. Once pieces of extrusion are connected together it can be difficult to go back and add things without having to disassemble the robot. T-slot Screws can be used occasionally, but it is not recommended to build the entire robot this way.

Modifying Length

When building different mechanisms, your design may need a specific length of extrusion or channel. Cutting structure down to the correct size is easy to do, and is recommended for these applications. Here are a few tips when cutting down structure to the right size.

  • Measure twice, cut once

    • Use a straight edge, not a measuring tape, to get a proper length. Using a marker with a sharp point, like a sharpie, helps as the "inside" of the mark is where to cut.

  • Use painter's tape

    • Preparing the structure before cutting by applying painter's tape can help make straight cuts. Align the edge of the tape with the mark and wrap along the cutting plane to help identify where to cut.

  • Use the right tool

    • At minimum, use a handheld hacksaw with a vice or clamp.

    • If using a powered saw, REV recommends using a horizontal bandsaw with proper clamping and safety measures to prevent injury.

    • Make sure that both sides of the structure being cut are supported while cutting to ensure a straight cut.

If using a handheld hacksaw, clamping the structure inside of a miter box helps to make various angled cuts to use structure for supports.

Using a Chop Saw or Powered Miter Saw is NOT recommended. These types of saws can cause the structure being cut to "kick" away from the blade, leading to potentially dangerous situations.