The Move to Make-It-Here

By the fall of 2017, we had an awkward situation in that we had no build space. Fortunately, we were put in touch with the makerspace, Make-It-Here. With that connection, not only did we gain a place to build, but we also gained industrial grade equipment to necessary to build quality robots. Along with that equipment, we also gained access to the Make-It-Here staff to provide our team with the training and knowledge to use the equipment.

The metal shop at Make-It-Here is often used by Roaring Robotics. The work table is one of five donated to the team by the Batavia School District.

Prior to Make-It-Here, Roaring Robotics was limited to equipment owned by the team, which isn’t particularly extensive. Specifically, the team owns a drill press, a couple of band saws, and a collection of various hand tools.

Make-It-Here also has a drill press, but it’s a bit beefier than the one that the team has.

As a significant upgrade from the drill press, Make-It-Here has two manual mills. The mills function by allowing the operator to make cuts sideways. Here, a student is moving the platform to make a straight cut on a chunk of metal. The mills are equipped with digital readouts which provide position information down to 1/1000th of an inch. The mills allow very precise cuts and machining to be performed - something that the team was never able to accomplish with bandsaws.

The team gained access to Make-It-Here’s plasma cutter.

The plasma cutter provides the ability to cut metal plates using a computer generated design.

The Tormach is shown here machining a pillow block used to hold a bearing in place on the 2018 competition season robot.

The team gained access to the Tormach, a numerically controlled mill. With the Tormach, a computer aided design can be used to provide the machine with the directions to machine a part to specification.

Although it seems basic, Make-It-Here provided us with a meeting area large enough to hold the team. It even came with Wi-Fi. The above photo was from our 2018 awards potluck.

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