STRAWBOTS: Materials





Introduction: STRAWBOTS: Materials

STRAWBOTS were designed with animation in mind. The other important consideration was budget. You need some pretty basic materials to get started.
  1. Straws
  2. Craft Foam
  3. Elastics
Once you have your basic materials, all you need are a few basic tools.

Step 1: Straws: It All Began at Harvey's

The Harvey's, slightly oversized black drinking straw is the the backbone of the STRAWBOT family. It comes wrapped in paper, and they are readily available at any Harvey's restaurant. All you have to do is buy a burger, and you won't feel too bad about taking a a few extras on the way out the door. I'm hoping that STRAWBOTS don't become too popular, or I could be in some trouble with Harvey's.

Once you've realized that you're addicted to burgers and building STRAWBOTS, you might need to consider other ways to get your hands on the goods. 

I have an insider working at Harvey's. He's a former student and he bought me entire box of Harvey's straws for $40.20!!!

Step 2: Other Straws.

To build the first generation of STRAWBOTS, you only need a few standard straws, but you may want to customize your creations. Soon, you'll be thinking about all the stores in your area that might sell straws. Then, you'll be scouring the internet for high end stuff. Here are some links that will get you started:

Step 3: Craft Foam

Foam sheets are pretty cheap. I try to get mine on sale or use a coupon. Sometimes the stuff you find at the dollar store is better quality than what you find elsewhere. I have noticed that sometimes you end up with sheets that are a little bit flimsy. I'm not sure if it has to do with colours, brands, or perhaps even production runs. In any case, the foam should be approximately 1/16" thick. When you're shopping you'll also stumble upon adhesive backed foam sheets. You might think that it's a great idea, but you won't be able to push straws through it, and you'll gunk up your hole punches. Save it for custom add-ons. Here are some places where you'll find craft foam:
  • Walmart
  • Michaels
  • Dollarama (Canada)
  • Dollar Tree (US)
  • Actually..... most dollar stores have it

Step 4: Elastics

The hair elastics available at the dollar store are quite funky. They come in many  different lengths, widths, and colours. They're cheap and they are a nice way to finish off the details of your STRAWBOT.



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Is there any other straw equivalent to those of Harvey's?

Try McDonald's, Subway or Arby's.

Why IKEA straws? How are they different then other flexible straws?

I only used the ikea straws for the weapons that I designed.

What would you recommend for a replacement for the Harvey straws? We do not have Harvey's restaurants in this area and I think this is something my brother would really enjoy.

Some people have commented that McDonald's straws work. Basically what you're looking for is straws that are approx 1/4" in diameter. Harvey's straws are just slightly bigger which allows you to fit one inside of the other. They don't have to be harvey's straws. Keep looking, and I'm sure you'll find something that works.

So you can get everything you need, for a basic one, at the dollar store?

You should be able to. :)

You could even use poster board for a stronger bot.