In this project you will learn how to build the MDF plates for a TurtleBot using simple hand tools.

Project Steps

This project requires simple hand tools to cut 0.25″ thick MDF to make your own TurtleBot plates.

A compass and calipers or a ruler can be used to make the basic patterns needed.

Once they are drawn on the MDF, a scroll saw or a coping saw will be used to cut out the patterns.

The plates have a basic outline of a 12.4″ diameter circle. Therefore the compass should be set to a radius of about 6.2″

Using a fine toothed saw cut the MDF into roughly 13″-14″ squares.

The approximate center of the MDF plate can be found by scribing a series of arcs whose centers are along the edge of the plate as shown in the second image.

Once the center is located use the compass to scribe a circle 12.4″ in diameter.

For the arts-and-crafts portion of the project download the Mechanical drawings from the TurtleBot website and print out the PDFs of the plates at a 1:1 scale.

Line up the pages and tape them together.

Use a craft knife to cut out the circle and line it up with the MDF you cut in the previous step.

Using double-stick tape, attach the paper to the MDF.

Use the holes marked on the paper as a guide for drilling the holes necessary.

A center punch will help keep the drill bit centered and will make a small mark that is visible if the paper gets torn while drilling.

Finish making all four plates, one of Plate 0, two of Plate 1 and one of Plate 2.


After completing this project you will have built all of the MDF parts for building your own TurtleBot.