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Tetrix FTC. Cut a pipe to a specific length

In this tutorial, we record an example of how to cut the pipe to the desired length with a hacksaw. Cutting with a hacksaw is very common during FIRST Technical Challenge Preparation

  • #580
  • 24 Jun 2017
  • 5:22

Choose an end

One of the pipe ends could be much more even that the other. This will save you one cut so just use it. Select the end that you would like to use.

Draw with a sheet of paper a perfect circle around the pipe

The basic problem is how to draw a straight line around the pipe. So we use a very interesting trick with a sheet of paper. Check out the video to see exactly how. 

After the cut

After the cut, it is not easy to add the pipe to the FTC Tetrix robot using some standard parts from the Tetrix set an electrical band. 

FTC cut template for a pipe to collect and store balls

Drawing on how to cut a pipe to be able to collect and store balls in this pipe. The sheet format is ISO A4 and the drawing size is real (100% scale)


In this tutorial we'll cut the pipe. And for cutting the pipe we need a pencil, a marker - permanent, if possible, this roulette and we need the hacksaw along with a sheet of paper. First, we need to measure so I'll remove the hacksaw and we take the pipe.

This pipe has two ends and we must decide on whether we can use one of the ends and only cut at one place or whether we can cut on two places. So, looking at the two ends of the pipe we can see this one here and we can see that it's not very even while the other one looks much better like this. And if we place the pipe on this side, we can see that it stays stable and we have a 90 degree angle here. So, we can use this side of the pipe and we can think of it as already cut and it's actually cut from the previous pipe that we use for the robot. So, we can use this side but we cannot use this side because if we place the pipe like this, you can see that it falls so it's not stable. Then we take the pipe and we measure.

The length of the pipe that we want is 40 cm. So, we just take the pipe and measure right here on 40 cm. After you've measured 40 cm the problem is how you draw a straight line around this pipe and it is kind of difficult. You don't have a line that you can put because you have the pipe and it's shaped like a cylinder so it's very difficult to draw a straight line to start from here and to end up again right here. And there are a couple of tricks that you can use. The one we are going to use requires a sheet of paper like this. It's just a large sheet of paper and what I'll do - it's important that this sheet of paper has good sides aligned. And I'll take the paper now if you are two in the team, this is a task that might require a few more hands and now we wrap the pipe with the sheet of paper. After we wrap the pipe with a sheet of paper we need a good wrap, we align the sheet of paper right here. So, when we wrap we align it to the part of the paper that's below this one. And as we align we move right here to our measurement which is right here. And now we just draw, keep the paper, we draw around the sheet of paper like this.

As a result we have a straight line around the pipe. And now this is the line that we can use for cutting. Finally it's time to cut. I'll put something over the table not to damage the table. Then I take the hacksaw. We need a few more hands for holding the pipe because if it's just my hand, probably we won't be able. And then we start cutting. Now, initially it's more difficult until you start because the hacksaw slides on the pipe. Don't be in a hurry here. Okay, we start with a cut and now we rotate the pipe a little more and we continue.

At the end we have the pipe and we have this cut and we have part of the pipe with a length of 40 cm that we can use directly on the robot. A short note: when cutting you must consider the safety precautions of the tools that are used for cutting. If you are using a different machine for cutting for example, try to look at the safety precautions for this machine because if you use a glove with a machine, the machine might catch the glove and from there break your arm or harm your arm. So, just consider the safety precautions of the tools that are used when cutting.

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