Barch Designs, a CNC Mill shop located in Lakeport, MI, has helped FIRST Robotics Team 3667, the Mecanum Knights, create some custom, one-of-a kind parts for its competition robot. The 60-tooth, solid-aluminum hubs were CNC milled to remove excess material because excess weight is an ongoing concern for competitive robots bound by FIRST weight restrictions. "Weight is integral to the decision making that goes into every part on the robot," said Scott Austin, the team's lead engineer. "Given all of the materials involved in the construction and operation robot (including wiring, motors, batteries and more), the FIRST restriction is a tight one. We are grateful for the support of Barch Designs and their ability to machine our hubs and get them back to us within 24 hours." Time is critical whey you have just six weeks to design, build, and test the robot before competition, Austin said.

Barch Designs specializes in billet aluminum products. For more information about Barch Designs, visit or contact Ben Barch at FIRST Robotics Team 3667, the Mecanum Knights, represents both Port Huron and Port Huron Northern high schools. To learn more about the Mecanum Knights, visit or contact Ann Austin at