3DP Applications

Markforged 3D printers support BattleBots 2019 World Championship

Multi award-winning 3D printer provider Markforged has confrimed that four of its 3D printers are to be featured in American television series BattleBots, premiering today on the Discovery Channel.

29 on-site teams from the dynamic robot combat tournament have been supported by the Massachusetts-based company as they 3D printed over 160 parts within the two weeks of filming. This allowed the teams to quickly repair damaged robots and optimize their design against competitors in real time.

“Teams with broken bots were saved and able to fight again because of Markforged and their fantastic 3D printers,” said Greg Munson, founder and executive producer of BattleBots Inc.

“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. We can’t thank them enough.”

Valkyrie, HyperShock and Quantum

Markforged 3D printers were used for end-use parts on the robots during filming. Valkyrie, an undercutter robot, is designed to damage the undercarriage of other robots. It has 55 3D printed parts. Leanne Cushing, Captain of the Valkyrie team, said:

“We produced more than 200 Markforged 3D printed parts for Valkyrie in preparation for this season. With a two-month build time and Markforged as a resource, we were able to bring our improved 2019 design to life effortlessly without the hours and expense of a normal machine shop.”

The Valkyrie BattleBot. Photo via BattleBots.
The Valkyrie BattleBot. Photo via BattleBots.

Furthermore, HyperShock, a vertical disk spinner robot, has more than 30 Markforged 3D printed parts using Onyx filament. Will Bales, HyperShock captain, explained, “Onyx parts provided us with cost savings, weight savings, and design flexibility you just can’t get with any other manufacturing process — all while maintaining the performance we need in the BattleBox.”

“When we found weak points in our design during the competition, we printed improved parts onsite. Making your robot better on the fly is a major competitive advantage that can only be achieved with Markforged machines.”

Parts 3D printed with Markforged Onyx. Photo via Markforged.
Parts 3D printed with Markforged Onyx. Photo via Markforged.

Moreover, Quantum, a crusher robot with 35,000 lbs of force, maintains 21 3D printed parts. “Creating Quantum was a very ambitious project,” stated 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 Markforged Mark Two 3D printer helped make Quantum possible by replacing machined aluminum parts for continuous fiber printed parts. The reliability of the end prints also gave us peace of mind when working to impossible time restrictions.”

Watch BattleBots

BattleBots will be continuing on June 12th on the Science Channel. Last year, within the BattleBots tournament, Boston-based competitors, Team SawBlaze, which consists of MIT engineering students and graduates, used the Studio System from Desktop Metal to efficiently create metal 3D printed components.

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Featured image shows Valkyrie and Hypershock facing off in an exciting fight in the first episode of BattleBots 2019. Photo via BattleBots.