by Jonathan Spalten.
Many BattleBots alumni will remember the 3lber program, the new member training project in which new members break into teams and work together to make a 3lb combat robot, culminating in a road trip to Motorama to compete in a real competition. Like everything else this year, the team has had to adapt to uncertainty regarding participating in external competitions as well as limited occupancy in shop spaces. For the 3lb program, what this meant was changing from the typical 3lb program designing robots with metal chassis, to a 2lber program that focuses on utilizing 3D printing technology. To replace Motorama this year, the team will be having an internal competition this spring using smaller scale 2lb robots instead.
The new 2 lber program uses a customized ruleset, limiting chassis materials to a single aluminum piece, fused deposition method 3D printed PLA and ABS, machined HDPE, and aluminum weapons. This enables the teams to get the full design and build experience without the typical strains put on the shop spaces when the manufacturing crunch hits. The teams are taking the opportunity to rethink some of the fundamental design concepts we use in the 3 lb space and adapt them to the 3D printing manufacturing method. We look forward to fully covering the internal competition this spring. Take a look at the CAD the new members have created so far!