Introduction: STRAWBOTS: Tools

About: I'm a High School Technology teacher with Creativitis, a disease that doesn't let my brain sleep. I spend my days trying to infect my student's minds with a desire to learn. I lead by example and hope that my …

Until STRAWBOT kits go into production mode, you'll be making the pieces with good ol' hand tools. I'll leave it up to you to decide what cutting method you use. I believe that scissors and and exacto-knife should be on hand.

Punches are what allow straws and foam to come together and make STRAWBOTS. In the following steps I'll highlight your basic tool options when it comes to punches.

Step 1: Round Hole Punches

 Your standard hole punch is ¼" in diameter. It is the cheapest, most readily available punch you can buy, and the most important punch when it comes to building STRAWBOTS.

If you're serious about building all of the current STRAWBOT models, you'll need to invest in a couple more round punches.
If you're serious about doing custom mods to your STRAWBOTS, with different diameter straws, you may want to purchase any other available diameter

A visit to Michael's Craft store should provide you with the basic round punches in different diameters, but you'll likely pay $10, rather than $2. The advantage to the more expensive punches that you get from the craft store is that they have a longer reach than a standard punch. This comes in handy for sure.

Step 2: Pattern Punches

 Pattern punches will come in handy if you want to pursue some customization. The one punch that I still feel I've under-utilized it the:
You'll also find an assortment of different patterns and pictures such as:

When you go to the store to buy punches, you'll see many amazing designs like this. Don't be fooled. I bought a couple of them and they will only cut paper. The opening is not wide enough to cut craft foam. So disappointed.

Step 3: Leather Punches

 It's really hard to find punches in non standard sizes and it's also difficult to find a hand punch larger than ¼" in diameter. So.... for those special occasions, leather punches can and will come in handy.

An advantage of the hand held leather punch is that you'll have a lot of different diameter holes and you'll only have to pay for one punch. The only drawback is that your holes will no be as clean and quick to cut. The advantage of the hollow leather punch set is that you'll be able to punch holes up to ½" in diameter which will allow you to incorporate bubble tea straws into your designs. Again, the drawback is that punching holes with this type of set is a little slower than regular hand punches.

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    5 years ago

    Hi there. I purchased a set of hollow punches, but fell into a bit of a trap. I used the 6mm punch initially, but found that the hole size ended up at about 6.5mm, and so the straws were too loose. I changed to a 5mm punch, and found that to be a good, tight friction fit.

    I would say that it is just due to the thickness of the metal.



    Mr. Noack
    Mr. Noack

    Reply 5 years ago

    Glad to see people are still making Strawbots!! Would love to see your results!!


    Reply 5 years ago

    Hi again. Will do.

    I've been looking around to find something to help fill in my retirement when it comes about. Found you Instructable, and was fascinated.

    You must be one clever guy to come up with the concept.

    Do you think I could enlarge it to A3 size (currently A4)? Not sure whether 2mm foam will be rigid enough. Do you know of anybody who has done this?