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Markforged-Printed Parts Featured in BattleBots Championship

Friday, June 7, 2019
 

Valkyrie, an undercutter robot designed to damage the undercarriage of robot competitors, has 55 parts produced on Markforged 3D printers. The robot will be competing in the season-opening episode of BattleBots, airing tonight (June 7) on the Discovery Channel, and June 12 on the Science Channel.

Markforged announced that four of its 3D printers will be featured on BattleBots, a television series premiering tonight (June 7) on the Discovery Channel and June 12 on the Science Channel. As the only 3D printer company hosted by BattleBots during filming, Markforged produced more than 160 parts for 29 teams onsite – all within the 2 weeks of filming. The printers allowed the teams to rapidly repair damaged robots, improve their performance during battles, and optimize their design against competitors in real time.

In BattleBots, teams design, build and operate remote-controlled machines that fight in an elimination tournament. With strict robot weight limits, Markforged 3D printers gave contestants the ability to create tough custom parts with the strength of aluminum at half the weight.

“Teams with broken bots were saved and able to fight again because of Markforged and its 3D printers,” says Greg Munson, founder and executive producer of BattleBots Inc. “In addition, Markforged created custom shock mounts for many robot motors. This decreased the fail rate of motors that were poorly mounted, and increased the reliability and the excitement level for the 2019 fights.”

Markforged printers were used for end-use parts on the robots during filming, though several teams employed the printers during the build season before filming. They produced tooling and fixtures during development, as well as prototypes for their designs.

Three teams fighting in the first episode of BattleBots heavily leveraged the printers:

  • Valkyrie, an undercutter robot that’s designed to damage the undercarriage of robots, has 55 parts printed via Markforged.

“We produced more than 200 3D printed parts for Valkyrie in preparation for this season,” says Leanne Cushing, captain of the Valkyrie team. “We were able to bring our improved 2019 design to life effortlessly without the hours and expense of a normal machine shop.”

  • HyperShock, a vertical disk spinner robot, has more than 30 Markforged 3D printed parts.

“Onyx parts provided us with cost savings, weight savings and design flexibility not available with any other manufacturing process — all while maintaining the performance we need in the BattleBox,” explains Will Bales, HyperShock captain. “When we found weak points in our design during the competition, we printed improved parts onsite.”

  • Quantum, a crusher robot that chomps down on competitors with 35,000 lb. of force, used 21 Markforged-printed parts.

“Creating Quantum was a very ambitious project,” says James Cooper, captain of the Quantum team. “To make it happen it was imperative to design super-lightweight parts while maintaining high strength in the critical areas. The reliability of the end prints gave us peace of mind when working with impossible time restrictions.”

 

See also: Markforged


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