Charlotte, NC – TPM, Inc., the Southeast’s leading 2D and 3D design technology provider, partners with SOLIDWORKS to bring sophisticated CAD Software to manufacturers as well as future manufacturers like the students in Queen City Robotics Alliance (QCRA).
QCRA is comprised of several local FIRST teams ranging in age from kindergarten to 12th grade. Many of these students have professional level certifications (CSWP) before they graduate high school.
All of the high school teams use SOLIDWORKS as their 3D CAD solution and sometimes use partner products such as SOLIDWORKS Simulation. The current high school teams include:
- 3506 YETI Robotics (30 students)
- 4290 Bots of War (25 students)
- 4935 T-Rex (90 students)
- 6894 Iced Java (the newest area team of 15 students)
YETI recently adopted SOLIDWORKS Electrical for their 2D Schematics. “From an ease of use and instructional standpoint, SOLIDWORKS is the most supportive and easy-to-use platform to teach to the students,” says Robbie Hoyler, Manufacturing Application Engineer at TPM. Hoyler has been involved in FIRST since 2003 and credits his pursuit of a career in engineering to his robotics team experience.
With SOLIDWORKS, FIRST teams build 150-pound robots in 45 days, but the competition requirements vary from year to year. In 2017, robots were required to climb a rope, shoot wiffle balls, and deploy plastic gears. This year they’re picking up and shooting milk crates into seesaws and climbing or lifting other robots suspended from a bar 6 feet off the ground.
“Because of the varying challenges and intensity of the season, we meet 4-7 times a week during our build season, and depending on how the builds go, for a total meeting time of about 20-30 hours a week,” says Hoyler, whose teams meet in the TPM Charlotte building.
“SOLIDWORKS has been one of TPM’s top partners for more than 15 years and continues to be a business line where we see immense growth and opportunity,” says Chris Fay, Vice President of TPM, Inc.
In addition to providing SOLIDWORKS software, TPM, Inc. also offers training and support for SOLIDWORKS users in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and West Virginia.